Mikey Garcia: ‘Fighting Manny Pacquiao would be tremendous’
By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia continues to bang the drum for a fight between him and Manny Pacquiao despite the lack of interest from fans in seeing this match. Fans want to see Mikey EARN a title shot against Pacquiao or one of the other champions at 147 rather than him talking his way into another title shot.
Mikey hasn’t looked impressive in either of his two fights at welterweight, and he doesn’t appear to belong in the weight class.
Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) insists that his recent win over former welterweight champion Jessie Vargas last February was enough for him to get a title shot against WBA ‘regular’ 147-pound champion Pacquiao. Mikey had a lot of problems against the arguably washed-up Vargas, and he was lucky to win.
Mikey’s record at welterweight is 1-1, having lost badly to IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and beaten past his prime Vargas. However, Mikey still hasn’t beaten a contender at 147.
Vargas isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies, so Mikey’s win over him wasn’t the kind of victory he needs to be given a title shot.
Mikey targeting Pacquiao
“I would love to fight Manny. He doesn’t have the height and the reach like Errol,” said Mikey on social media. “I think that’s going to make it a good fight for me. I know he’s going to engage and fight hard. He’s a great fighter and a living legend, and if I’m capable of securing a victory over him, that definitely adds to what I want to accomplish with my legacy.
“I’m excited. If I could get that fight, it would be the best fight. There are other options for him. You mentioned Keith Thurman or maybe Errol Spence or other names like Danny Garcia.
“I think it would be a terrific fight,” said Mikey in continuing to bang on about a fight against Pacquiao. “If I can get this, I’m definitely taking care of business. I’m not letting this pass me by. I think my boxing style can complicate things a lot for him, similar to how Marquez complicated things for Manny for all of those fights.
“And I keep fighting the top champions in every division,” said Mikey. “I fought Dejan [Zlaticanin], who was an undefeated world champion. I took on Broner, who was an undefeated champion at the time. And I then moved up and fought Lipinets, who is probably the heaviest puncher I’ve faced, and he was one of the hardest hitters,” said Mikey.
Fans wouldn’t have such an issue with Mikey getting a title shot against Pacquiao if he beat someone good to earn the fight. Mikey’s win over Jessie Vargas wasn’t nearly good enough for him to rate a title shot against Pacquiao, given that he isn’t a ranked contender. To earn a title shot, Mikey should prove that he can beat someone like Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, or Yordenis Ugas.
Garcia doesn’t want tuneups
“So all these guys I faced were champion after champion,” said Mikey. “Even Robert Easter. He was another undefeated champion. A year ago, I fought Errol Spence in a fifth division [and lost]. I think that’s lured all the fans into supporting me.
“They see that I’m fighting champion after champion after champion. That’s how I see my legacy growing. I just don’t get excited about a tuneup fight. That’s not going to get me excited and enable me to perform. I need a challenge, and I need a big name and a big opponent that can challenge me and push me for me to perform.
“This last fight against Jessie Vargas, he fit the build-up for what we wanted to fight at the time. We looked at other names, but they weren’t available. Some of the names weren’t exciting. They were tuneup fights, they were comeback fights, and I didn’t want that. I don’t need a tuneup fight, and I don’t need a gimme fight to get back into the ring,” said Mikey.
As far as the four-division world titles that Mikey has captured during his career, he didn’t beat any of the talented champions to win those belts. Mikey beat the secondary champions and not the super talented guys.
The fighters Mikey beat to win his four-division world titles:
- Orlando Salido – 126
- Roman Martinez – 130
- Dejan Zlaticanin -135
- Robert Easter Jr. – 135
- Sergey Lipinets – 140
The best of that bunch is Salido, but Mikey’s win over him was tainted. Mikey pulled out of the fight after suffering a broken nose in the eighth round. Salido was coming on at the time that Mikey sustained the injury.
Mikey on Spence fight: It just wasn’t my night
“I need the challenge to show everybody what I’m capable of doing, and Jessie did that,” said Mikey in magnifying his win over 2nd tier welterweight Vargas. “He’s a former two-division world champion. His only two defeats have come against Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.
“So it was the right opponent for me to showcase my skills against, and now I’m looking for the biggest fight available [Pacquiao]. I’m willing to fight anybody that makes sense. That’s how my fans keep growing, that’s how I keep growing, and that’s why they love me so much. I know a lot of people still doubt that I can do anything at 147.
“Everybody that saw me against Errol Spence has their right to an opinion. It just wasn’t my night. I couldn’t perform, but I know I’m capable of performing. That’s why my fight against Jessie Vargas helps clear a lot of those doubts. It allowed the fans and critics to see me again at 147 against a top fighter, and a former world champion and see myself well as a legitimate contender.
“I never doubted myself, even after the Errol Spence fight. It just wasn’t my night. But I know there’s so much more I can accomplish, and that’s why I’m sticking around at 147,” said Garcia.
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