By: Hans Themistode
Even at the age of 41, Manny Pacquiao is considered one of the most difficult fighters to overcome inside of the ring. The eight division world champion and current WBA titlist not only represents a tough out inside the squared circle but he is also viewed as a golden ticket.
Matching up with Pacquiao not only allows his opponents to bring in career high paydays, but pulling off a win against him can send the stock of his opposition through the roof.
For former four division world champion Mikey Garcia, he seemingly punched his ticket to face Pacquiao with a win over two division titlist Jessie Vargas. Through no fault of his own however, his ticket may now be expired.
“We don’t know yet,” said Garcia in an interview with FightHype. “We were talking to team Pacquiao earlier in the year before my fight with Jessie. They were excited to possibly get a fight with me, but this whole COVID situation came and slowed things down. We don’t know if that’s still going to be the plan for Manny. I mean he still has a lot of options.”
Amongst those options for Pacquiao is former two division world titlist Danny Garcia and current welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford. Regardless of where Mikey Garcia ranks on the list of Pacquiao’s desired next opponent, he believes that he brings the sort of style to the table that would make for a great matchup.
“I think it would be a terrific fight,” said Garcia. “Styles make fights and I think it would be great. I hope we can clear this whole thing soon and everybody gets healthy. Hopefully they can develop some sort of vaccine. When that happens the first thing we are going to do is push for a Manny fight.”
While there is no guarantee that Garcia will receive the Pacquiao phone call, that has not stopped him from doing his homework against the boxing legend. With 25 years of tape to watch against his possible next opponent, Garcia believes he knows exactly what he should and shouldn’t do against Pacquiao should they meet in the ring.
“I feel that I would be able to box and counterpunch. If I stayed in the pocket and traded punches, then I think that would be a mistake. I gotta be able to move, dodge punches and punch in combinations. Similar to the way Juan Manuel Marquez fought him.”
“If I stayed and tried to trade punches with him then I think he would overwhelm me. He punches in five, six, seven combinations and moves around with different angles so I’m not going to do that. I would try to box effectively on the outside and counterpunch with combinations. I think that is the key to a fight with Manny.”