Hearn hopes to bring Pacquiao to DAZN for next Saudi show in July against Mikey Garcia
By Kenneth Friedman: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s had conversations with Manny Pacquiao’s manager Audie Attar of Paradigm Sports about potentially including him against a top welterweight like Mikey Garcia for his next show in Saudi in July.
Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) is fighting this weekend against Jessie Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs) in a Matchroom Boxing show on DAZN at The Star in Frisco, Texas. If Mikey wins that fight, then Hearn wants to attempt to set-up a fight between him and WBA Super World welterweight champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) for July in Saudi.
Mikey, 32, would be an ideal opponent for Manny, due to his ability to attract boxing fans. It’s also a fight that Pacquiao would have a good shot at winning. It’s not a certainty that Mikey will beat Vargas on Saturday. That’s a tough fight for the former four-division world champion.
Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia is fight Hearn wants
“All I’m concerned about is to try and make a fight between Manny Pacquiao and a top welterweight out there,” Hearn said to ESPN MMA. “This Saturday on DAZN, we have a brilliant fight between Mikey Garcia and Jessie Vargas. Mikey Garcia has made it quite clear if he comes through on Saturday night, he would like to fight Manny Pacquiao next.
“For me, Manny Pacquiao against Mikey Garcia is a great fight also, but Jessie Vargas has got other thoughts himself,” said Hearn. “We are in the market place to try and do a Manny Pacquiao fight for sure. I don’t like Manny Pacquiao against Conor McGregor. For me, the focus with Manny is to try and sign him into a fight for Matchroom and DAZN,” said Hearn.
Mikey hasn’t been hesitant about expressing interest in wanting to fight Manny in his next fight. It’s a fight that would likely bring Mikey a career-best payday, and show the boxing world how well he can mix it against another top welterweight. In Mikey’s first fight at 147 against Errol Spence Jr. in March 2019, he didn’t perform up to his usual standards. Spence used his size advantage to box his way to an easy 12 round unanimous decision over Mikey.
Hearn discusses bringing Pacquiao to Saudi
“I’ve had a number of conversations with Audie [Attar of Paradigm Sports], and we would definitely like to make a play for Manny Pacquiao to fight on DAZN in Saudi Arabia,” said Hearn. “We now have a partnership with Skills Challenge Entertainment, which is our partners that we staged the Saudi fight with Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua to complete for a number of shows each year.
“The next one is planned for early July, and Manny Pacquiao is definitely a fighter that they would love to have onboard to box in Saudi Arabia. One of the problems with Manny Pacquiao is it seems there are 162 people claiming to represent him right now.
“With Audie and Paradigm looking to have the only official link, a recorded link of at least a conversation between the two of them where Manny confirms he’s being represented by Audie.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m more than happy to have a conversation with Audie and do a deal with Audie. We’ve been getting along great, and having some really good conversations,” said Hearn.
There is some competition for Manny’s next fight from PBC fighter Danny Garcia, and Errol Spence Jr. If Pacquiao can get big money to fight in Saudi, then it would seem likely that Hearn will be able to match him against Mikey.
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