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Manny Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia targeted for July 11 in Saudi Arabia

Manny Pacquiao Mikey Garcia

By Jim Maltzman: Eddie Hearn is looking to put together a mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia for July 11 in Saudi Arabia. That’s the working date that Hearn, the Matchroom boss, is targeting for the Pacquiao-Garcia welterweight clash.

Hearn views the fight as one of the biggest that can be made in boxing right now, and he’s looking forward to this fight taking place. Unlike a lot of great matches that never get made, Pacquiao vs. Mikey has an excellent chance of happening.

Manny Pacquiao has found the Fountain of Youth

Pacquiao (62-7-2 39 KOs) has found the Fountain of Youth and has become a modern-day Benjamin Button. The 41-year-old Manny recently defeated WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman last July and looked incredible in winning.

There’s a lot of money to be made by both multi-division world champions, and both fighters are on board to get the deal done.

Mikey (40-1-1, 30 KOs) showed the boxing world that he’s an elite welterweight with his 12 round decision victory over Jessie Vargas last month on February 29. He defeated the former two-division world champion Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) in front of a large crowd at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Mikey beat Vargas by the scores 116-111, 116-111, 114-113.

July 11th the target date for Pacquiao vs. Garcia in Saudi

“That’s a date we’re working on, yeah,” said Hearn to
beIN SPORTS USA on July 11 is the date that he’s targeting for the Pacquiao vs. Mikey fight in Saudi. “I love the fight, and I feel it’s one of the biggest fights in boxing. Again, Saudi Arabia asked me to develop a card in July. Someone they like a lot is Manny Pacquiao, a legend in the sport.

“There’s also a huge Filipino community in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East as well., and Mikey Garcia I believe will be the perfect opponent He had a great fight with Jessie Vargas,” said Hearn.

The Pacquiao-Garcia fight still isn’t a done deal, but it’s looking like it’s going to happen. Errol Spence Jr. and Danny Garcia are two fighters that Pacquiao is interested in facing, but those matches will have to wait. Mikey, 32, is the frontrunner to get the Pacquiao fight, and it’s a great match-up between two multi-division world champions.

Pacquiao has won his last three fights since losing a controversial 12 round decision to Jeff Horn in 2017. Since losing to Horn in Brisbane, Australia, Pacquiao has beaten Thurman, Adrien Broner, and Lucas Matthysse. Pacquiao didn’t receive much credit for defeating Broner and Matthysse, who some fans feel is shot fighters, but he impressed with his victory over Thurman.

Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia aren’t huge welterweights

“Mikey Garcia is NOT a 147-pounder,” said Hearn. “He’s not a welterweight, but he’s so stubborn. He wanted to say, ‘I can do it, and I believe I [can beat Pacquiao],” Hearn said of Mikey stubbornly wanting to prove to the boxing world he can fight at 147 at a high level.

“Manny Pacquiao is not a huge welterweight. This is a difference as well. So for me, Pacquiao against Garcia is a great fight,” said Hearn.

The 5’5 1/2″ Pacquiao is a little shorter than the 5’6″ Mikey, and his reach is one inch shorter as well. Pacquiao has an advantage in hand speed, combination punching, and experience at 147. Mikey is 1-1 at welterweight since moving up to the division in 2019 against Spence Jr.

The biggest area that Mikey needs to improve on for him to have a shot at beating Pacquiao is his work rate. In Garcia’s fights against Vargas and Spence, he didn’t throw a lot of shots. He looking for one big shot, and it wasn’t enough for him to dominate the way he needed to.

Although Mikey did defeat Vargas by a 12 round decision, the fight was closer than two of the judges had it. They scored it 116-111 for Mikey, while the third had it 114-113. The 114-113 score was arguably the more accurate of the three, as Mikey let Vargas control the first 4 and the last 3 rounds. some boxing fans even thought the fight should have been a draw, but the knockdown that Mikey scored in round 5 is what set him apart from Vargas.

Mikey Garcia has a HUGE fan base

“You see with Mikey Garcia, it doesn’t matter if he’s in Dallas with 11,000 people or when I took him to the Chavez [vs. Danny Jacobs] card in Phoenix,” Hearn said. “He’s getting mobbed by fans. They know he’s a big name.

“He’s extremely credible, he has a fan base of American fight fans, Mexican fight fans, and he’s a four-division world champion. He wants to be a five-division world champion. What’s Pacquiao, 5, 6, 7-division world champion?” Hearn said.

Pacquiao will be able to take advantage of Mikey’s huge fan base to help attract boxing fans in watching their fight on DAZN. Mikey is one of the more popular fighters that Pacquiao will have fought since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015. It’s a win-win for Pacquiao to be taking on Mikey with huge fan base in the U.S.

Manny Pacquiao aging backward like Benjamin Button

“Pacquiao now, he’s like Benjamin Button,” said Hearn. “He’s coming back. He put on one of the best performances of his career against Keith Thurman in his last fight [in July]. So for me, that’s a great fight between two multi-division world champions, and a very close fight as well,” said Hearn.

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