Mikey Garcia waiting on Manny Pacquiao fight, NOT Jessie Vargas
By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia states that he’s received an offer from Eddie Hearn to fight Jessie Vargas next, but he insists Manny Pacquiao is the one he wants next. Mikey is one of the three fighters on Pacquiao’s shortlist for April, according to his MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons.
The 31-year-old Mikey, who hasn’t fought in 8 months, has NO interest in fighting junior middleweight Vargas.
Mikey waiting on Pacquiao decision
Garcia is waiting to find out if Pacquiao will choose him for his next fight in April, and he’s not going to accept offers to fight other guys for less money. Vargas is eager to fight Mikey, but the feelings aren’t mutual. Hearn’s offer for Mikey to face the towering 5’11” junior middleweight Vargas is a peculiar one, because it’s not a fight that boxing fans are asking for. Vargas never was a hugely popular fighter in the U.S despite having briefly held titles at 140 and 147. Mikey gains nothing from fighting Vargas.
Former 4 division world champion Mikey (39-1, 30 KOs) says Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn offered the fight with former 2 division world champion Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs), but he’s not started negotiations, and he likely never will. Mikey obviously knows that he doesn’t possess the size, power or the talent to beat any of the top welterweights. So he’s going to sit and hope that he gets the Pacquiao fight.
Mikey, 31, has a VERY good chance at getting the Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) fight next April. Gibbons says Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia are the other 2 names being considered for Pacquiao’s next bout. However, Danny is fighting on January 25, and that leaves him out of the Pacquiao lottery.
Mikey hoping to get Pacquiao fight
“The fight that interests me most is with Pacquiao for 2020. Hearn approached with a proposal for Jessie,” said Mikey Garcia to . @ESPNmx. “We have not negotiated it, but there it is. The important thing is that there are many options to return to the ring.”
A fight against Pacquiao would give Mikey a bigger payday than if he were to face Vargas, who isn’t a big name and he’s not fighting regularly anymore. Vargas hasn’t fought since last April when beat 39-year-old lightweight Humberto Soto. With only one fight in 2019, Vargas is done for the year. He’s not staying active, and he wouldn’t be a great option for Mikey.
It’s going to be a tough decision for Pacquiao whether to fight Mikey, Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter next. The argument against Pacquiao fighting Mikey is the fact that he lost his last fight to Errol Spence Jr. last April, and he hasn’t fought since. Boxing fans didn’t like the way Mikey didn’t appear to go all out to try and beat Spence.
It was a pay-per-view event on Fox, and fans paid money to see Mikey and Spence battle it out. Unfortunately, the fans didn’t get value for their money. Mikey fought a safety first fight, and looked like his goal was to just survive.
On top of that, Mikey has been inactive since that fight, and gives interviews talking about wanting Pacquiao. Mikey hasn’t done anything to deserve a fight against Pacquiao, and he’s now just a guy living off of his past accomplishments. Fighting a guy that is no longer trying to achieve in their careers, it’s not going to do much for Pacquiao. How does he sell a fight between him and Mikey?
Gibbons says Mikey Garcia under consideration for Pacquiao
“Mikey is more of a 40. If Mikey didn’t lose to Errol Spence, everybody would be saying, ‘Oh, it’s a mega-fight, it’s this. So are really the Porter or the Garcia’s [Mikey and Danny]. Those are kind of the three names on the table,” said Manny Pacquiao Promotions president Sean Gibbons to Secondsout. “We’re looking in the first quarter. All kinds of names have been thrown out there; Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia. Mikey actually fits better with Manny because of the size. Manny is more of a 140-pounder,” said Gibbons.
With Floyd Mayweather Jr. coming out of retirement in 2020, Pacquiao needs a SAFE bout for April, considering he won’t be facing ‘Money’ in the first half of the year. Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter would be risky fights for the 40-year-old Pacquiao, and not really worth it. Mikey brings NO risk at all for Manny. Yeah, Mikey, 5’7″, is the same height as Pacquiao, but he doesn’t possess the power at 147, speed or the workrate to beat him. As such, Mikey is the ideal ‘stay busy’ fight for Pacquuiao.
Mikey was an outstanding fighter when he fought at 126, 130 and 135, but he’s nothing special at 147. You can argue that Mikey would lose most of the top 15 welterweights, if not all of them. Mikey still has the name recognition with boxing fans, but he’s clearly living off his accomplishments from MANY yesterday’s ago.
Vargas brings less to the table for Mikey than Pacquiao
It’s surprising that Hearn chose to offer Mikey a fight against Vargas, because it’s not a good one for him. Vargas fights at 154, and he’s a big guy at 5’11”. He would have a considerable advantage over Mikey if that match took place, and it’s strange that Hearn would even offer that bout.
It would be a nice fight for Vargas, but a poor one for Mikey. With offers like that from Hearn, Mikey might be cautious in the future when the British promoter comes to him with other fight offers. Mikey would be doing Hearn a big favor by fighting Vargas, but it would be at his own expense. It’s unclear why Vargas isn’t fighting junior middleweights. He moved up in weight in 2019, but he’s had one fight in that weight class and that was against the MUCH smaller lightweight Soto.
If Vargas is interested in fighting welterweights, he needs to move back down in weight rather staying at 154. Vargas doesn’t match-up well with the top fighters at junior middleweight though. He’s not as powerful or as fast at the elite fighters in the 154-lb division. That might be one reason why Hearn isn’t matching Vargas against other fighters at 154, because it would likely end badly for him.
Porter still in the running for Pacquiao fight
As for Porter, it’s doubtful that Gibbons and Pacquiao are seriously considering him. He’s got a brawling style similar to Jeff Horn, who Pacquiao lost to in 2017 in Australia. Horn roughed Pacquiao for 12 rounds, and him bleeding from head-butts. Pacquiao probably isn’t going to want to roughed up by Porter for 12 rounds, especially if there’s not a lot of interest from fans in seeing that fight.