Mikey Garcia Believes a Fight With Manny Pacquiao Would Be Perfect Style Matchup
By: Hans Themistode
When four division world champion Mikey Garcia decided to move up two weight classes to take on Errol Spence Jr for his IBF Welterweight title in 2019, no one could believe it. Garcia has always been viewed as a great fighter but there are weight classes for a reason. So when Spence won every single round against Garcia, most of the boxing world laughed.
Fast forward one year later and no one is laughing anymore.
Garcia looked much better in his second go round at the 147 pound limit against former two division champion Jessie Vargas. Garcia dropped him in the fifth and cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Now, after a solid win under his belt, Garcia has his eyes set on arguably the biggest name in the division.
“I would love that opportunity to fight Manny,” Garcia told promoter Eddie Hearn in an Instagram Live interview. “I think styles, you know, make fights. And he’s not this tall, lanky fighter that can complicate things like Errol Spence did. Errol Spence is a tall fighter who uses the reach very effectively and height. And, you know, he’s a southpaw, which always complicates things.”
“Manny’s still a southpaw, but he’s a lot smaller in size. So, he’s shorter in height, doesn’t have the reach like some of these other welterweights. So, I think that fits much better to get an entertaining fight with me. I think it just fits right.”
In his past three fights Garcia has given up a ton of size. First he was at a five inch height and three inch reach disadvantage against Jessie Vargas. Then it was three and half inches in height and four inches in reach to Errol Spence Jr. Before that, he gave up five inches in height and a ridiculous eight inches in reach to Robert Easter Jr.
A contest with Pacquiao would actually see Garcia face off against someone who is practically the same size as him.
How the fight would play out is anyone’s guess, but Garcia has the right blueprint in mind.
For nearly 25 years, Pacquiao has dominated inside of the ring. But outside of Floyd Mayweather, the two men that have given him the most trouble are Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. He’s fought both men a combined seven times. And although he’s gone 4-2-1 against them, Garcia thinks that they are the perfect fighters to emulate if he were to meet Pacquiao the ring.
“I mean, I remember sparring with him years [and] years ago. And I was able to fight in the ways similar to like [Erik] Morales or [Juan Manuel] Marquez, you know boxing, and we did very well. It was only sparring sessions, but I felt good. I was able to time [him], I was able to use my jab effectively, and that’s why I think that fight makes the best sense right now, to prove to everybody that I can be a world champion at the welterweight limit.”
Can Mikey Garcia Overcome the Odds Even Though He is a Big Odds Favorite
By: Jeffrey Drake
On February 29, 2020, former four weight division world champion Mikey Garcia will be facing former two weight division world champion Jessie Vargas. This welterweight fight is at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas on DAZN and should have a great atmosphere. Mikey Garcia was widely regarded as a top five pound for pound fighter prior to his fight with current IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. A natural 135-pound fighter, Mikey called out Errol Spence Jr for a long period of time before the fight was made. The boxing public felt Mikey was too small and to take on arguably the welterweight king in your first fight at 147 pounds would be too much. March 16th, 2019 was the date Mikey not only took his first loss, but the first time he was not competitive in a fight.
This Saturday, Mikey Garcia a 6 to 1 favorite, will be making his unofficial welterweight debut. Many odds stand in front of Mikey Garcia prior to even facing Jessie Vargas. The jump from basically 135 to 147 pounds is a big jump. We have watched many fighters make that transition with mixed results. The one famous name that comes to mind who made that weight jump is Adrien Broner. As talented as Broner is, the consensus is he was not the same fighter and took several losses after making the jump to welterweight. Will Mikey power transfer to welterweight? Will he have slower hand and foot speed? Will he be gun shy after taking a sustained beating from Errol Spence Jr? Will he be able to handle the pressure of performing knowing a possible big money fight with all-time great Manny Pacquiao could be next? These are all legitimate questions and we haven’t even talked about his very capable opponent Jessie Vargas.
Jessie Vargas has fought the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner, Timothy Bradley, Sadam Ali amongst other good opponents throughout his career. Jessie has been fighting at welterweight for over four years. Even though he has never been mentioned pound for pound like Mikey Garcia, he has accomplished a lot throughout his career. On Saturday, Jessie should be the bigger fighter, fighting at his natural weight class and with less overall pressure. Yet, Mikey Garcia is still the heavy favorite to win this fight. The boxing community, fans and odds makers are betting that Mikey Garcia will do what we expect every great fighter to do and that is to overcome all odds and win. Let’s find out if Mikey Garcia is still that special or if Jessie Vargas has been disrespected and will get the biggest victory of his career.