By: Sean Crose
If you thought Manny Pacquiao facing UFC star Conor McGregor in a boxing ring would be an over the top endeavor, consider and consider well the possibility of Pacquiao squaring off with boxing’s most notable rising star, Ryan Garcia…because, according to reliable sources, a Pacquiao-Garcia bout is a legit possibility. Garcia indicated as much when he posted a fight poster featuring he and Pacquiao on Instagram. Sources inform Boxing Insider, however, that there’s more here than just empty hype. Although UFC great McGregor was said to be in line to face Pacquiao as recently as twenty four hours before this writing, the Irishman’s loss to Dustin Poirier this past Saturday may have helped alter the equation.
Mike Coppinger of The Athletic looks to have been the first to report on talks between the Pacquiao and Garcia camps when he tweeted about it on Saturday. Since that time the story has made it’s way across boxing media and/or the internet. Then came Sunday evening, when Garcia posted his prop fight poster along with the following comment: “A dream turned reality ✨👊🏽 It’s an honor to share the Ring with @mannypacquiao I will always respect what you did in and out the ring. Here’s to the best Man Winning 🥊.” And from there, social media went wild.
For the truth is that a fight between the fortysomething Pacquiao and the twentysomething Garcia would be rather unusual. Aside from Pacquiao being an aging lion and Garcia being a young buck, the Filipino legend is a WBA welterweight titlist while the Instagram star currently fights at lightweight. What’s more, good as he is, Garcia remains a fighter who is developing his skill set. Pacquiao may not be what he was – but the man can fight on autopilot and still be better than ninety five percent of the other boxers out there.
What appears to be at work here is Pacquiao’s desire for another huge payday before retiring, one that comes without an enormous risk factor. It may not be a coincidence that this story exploded just after McGregor’s loss to Dustin Poirier. On the other hand, there’s also the fact that Garcia is a young fighter who actually is willing to dare to be great. The kid walks the walk as well as talks the talk. In an age of safety-first young fighters, Garcia’s eagerness to overachieve is rather impressive. As for Pacqiuao, he’s spent years fighting the absolute best competition out there. In a business where soft touches are now par for the course, the man deserves what may well be an easy fight.