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Does STUBBORN Mikey Garcia deserve Manny Pacquiao fight now?

Image: Does STUBBORN Mikey Garcia deserve Manny Pacquiao fight now?

By Chris Williams: Mikey Garcia finally got his first win under his belt at welterweight in beating Jessie Vargas last Saturday and now he believes he’s proven himself enough at 147 to deserve a title shot against champion Manny Pacquiao. However, the general belief by fans is Mikey kangaroo his way back down to 140 to compete in that weight class.

Mikey beat Vargas by the scores 116-111, 116-111 and 114-113. Boxing News 24 had Mikey just barely edging it by a 114-113 score. Vargas won the first 4 rounds and then struggled in the middle rounds before coming back late to rally. It was a close win for Mikey, and it shouldn’t have been. The elite-level welterweights would have likely obliterated Vargas last Saturday and went without their faces being marked up. If Mikey’s face, he was bruised and he looked like he’s crawled out of no man’s land in a war zone.

Mikey is seen by many fans as a STUBBORN person,  who is just looking for a big payday against Pacquiao before disappearing for another year. At the post-fight news conference last Saturday, the only thing that Mikey seemed interested in talking about was a fight between him and Pacquiao. Mikey sounded really needy as if the only fight that counts for him as Pacquiao.

“Now I have a win in the welterweight division and I think people can actually consider me a viable contender,” said Mikey last Saturday at the post-fight news conference in talking about his win over Vargas. “I think I can show that even though Manny has looked great, I can take him out and show that I’m just as great, but I need that opportunity,” complained Mikey.

The fans think Mikey hasn’t proven himself as worthy of a fight with Pacquiao. Vargas is no longer an active fighter at this point in his career. Before facing Mikey, he’d been out of the ring for 10 months and had looked poor in beating lightweight Humberto Soto last April.  Mikey actually has done nothing to prove himself as worthy of a fight with Pacquiao. Vargas couldn’t beat Broner or Dulorme, and neither of those guys are presently being mentioned as possible opponents for Pacquiao, are they?

Before fighting Vargas, Mikey was on the sidelines for 11 months, resting after getting dominated by IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in March 2019. When Mikey finally did come back last weekend, he didn’t take on one of the top welterweights. He fought Vargas, who is arguably over-the-hill, and can’t be counted on to win fights when stepping up a level.

In life, people earn their opportunities by working hard and achieving. Mikey hasn’t done that at 147, and yet here he is asking for ANOTHER world title shot at welterweight. I mean, Mikey failed a year ago in losing to Errol Spence Jr. by a one-sided 12 round decision.

The logical thing for Mikey to do is to get at the end of the line, ply your trade and beat some of the TOP contenders. I’m sorry but Vargas is NOT a top contender at welterweight. He used to be 4 years ago, but not anymore. Vargas has failed repeatedly since 2016 in fights against Pacquiao, Adrien Broner, and Thomas Dulorme, which is why he’s NOT ranked. The fans would give Mikey their blessings if he beat some of these guys to EARN a title shot against Manny:

  • Yordenis Ugas
  • Shawn Porter
  • Vergil Ortiz
  • Keith Thurman

Is it asking too much for Mikey Garcia to beat 2 of those fighters to earn a fight with Pacquiao? Just from what I saw in Mikey’s fight against Vargas last Saturday, he loses to all four of those fighters. An in-shape Thurman would likely knockout Mikey, and the young 21-year-old Ortiz Jr., who is the next star at 147, would bludgeon him.

The consensus from fans is that Mikey didn’t look near good enough in beating part-time fighter Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) last Saturday for him to beat the elite level welterweight like Pacquiao, Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter or Errol Spence. Even the non-elite level welterweight such as Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas would be trouble for Mikey.

Is Mikey just looking for a payday against Pacquiao?

The last time Mikey fought, he was given a world title shot against IBF welterweight champion in 2019 that he didn’t deserve. Mikey had never fought at 147, and yet he was given a title shot against Spence.

“I think it’s probably one of the best fights in boxing. I really feel that Manny Pacquiao against Mikey Garcia is just a monstrous fight,” said Mikey’s promoter Eddie Hearn last Saturday at the post-fight news conference.

The Mikey vs. Vargas fight wasn’t a monster fight, and it gained little traction with boxing fans. They pretty much tuned out the fight and took the weekend off. Mikey already had two strikes against him going into the Vargas fight. The first strike was the extended gaps of inactivity Mikey from 2014 to 2016, and 2019 to 2020.

Secondly, Mikey lost his last fight against Errol Spence Jr. last year in March and looked terrible. You hate to say it but Mikey has become the forgotten man. So with all that and a poor opponent in Vargas, Mikey’s fight last Saturday was ignored and slipped under the radar with fans. It wouldn’t have been like that if Mikey fought someone that has fans like Keith Thurman. That’s who Mikey needed, but that’s someone that would likely beat him.

“He’s a living legend. It would be tremendous,” said Mikey in pouring compliments over the head of Pacquiao last Saturday. “It would be a great thing for my legacy to get in the ring with an all-time great like Manny.

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“It’s not too often that you get the opportunity to fight an all-time great, you know? And for me to get in that ring with Manny would be just amazing.  I need to get in the ring with him. If it goes to Saudi, I just need to get out there in time to get acclimated and adjusted. Inside that ring, it doesn’t matter where that fight is at. I’m ready to go anywhere,” said Mikey.

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