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Mikey Garcia STILL pushing for Manny Pacquiao fight

Manny Pacquiao Mikey Garcia

By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia is still working hard trying to talk himself into a fight with Manny Pacquiao, and the fan reaction to his efforts is mixed. Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) says he wants to prove to the boxing public that he can be a world champion at 147, and he can do that against Pacquiao.

Mikey seems very NEEDY right now when it comes to the Pacquiao fight, and urgency that he’s showing gives the impression he’s in a big hurry. What’s the rush with Mikey? What Mikey should be doing is proving himself against the top-level fighters at welterweight BEFORE calling out Pacquiao.

Should Pacquiao fight Mikey?

The way Mikey is doing it is the opposite. He’s got the cart before the horse. You don’t go from the bottom straight to the top for a title shot without fighting a good welterweight. Mikey’s recent win over Jessie Vargas last February was nothing special, given that Vargas’s career imploded a long time ago.

The way that Mikey has gone about attempting to get the title shot against WBA welterweight champion Pacquiao is off-putting to a lot of fans. Many of them see Mikey as on a cash-out tour, and that he just wants a big payday for another defeat at 147.

Since moving up to welterweight, former four-division world champion Mikey has fought twice, losing to IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. and beating past his prime 2nd tier fighter Jessie Vargas.

Manny Pacquiao Mikey Garcia

Mikey still hasn’t beaten a top tier welterweight

The win over Vargas, who wasn’t ranked in the top 15, is supposed to have proven that Mikey now deserves the title shot against Pacquiao even though he just lost to IBF champ Spence in his previous fight. Fans don’t like the idea that Mikey is trying to get another title shot without earning it by facing a top contender at 147.

If this were the NFL, it would be like a team with a 0-0 record getting into the Super Bowl without ever playing. Then after losing in the Super Bowl, they take on a bottom cellar dweller team. After they beat the mediocre team, they’re back in the Super Bowl once again without having played a season or taken part in a Championship game.

You can argue that Mikey should beat at least two of these fighters to earn the Pacquiao fight:

  • Shawn Porter
  • Yordenis Ugas
  • Danny Garcia
  • Keith Thurman
  • Vergil Ortiz, Jr.

Is it asking too much for Mikey to beat two of those five fighters to prove himself worthy of a title shot? What boxing doesn’t need is for famous fighters to be given title shots without earning them because it sends the wrong message.

Pacquiao’s fighting style doesn’t worry Mikey

“I would love that opportunity to fight Manny,” Garcia said Mikey on his promoter Eddie Hearn on Instagram. “I think styles, you know, make fights. And he’s not this tall, lanky fighter that can complicate things like Errol Spence did.

“Errol Spence is a tall fighter who uses the reach very effectively and height. And, you know, he’s a southpaw, which always complicates things,” said Mikey.

The reason Mikey lost to Spence isn’t because of his style. It’s unclear whether Mikey is serious or not in bringing up Spence’s fighting style to try and explain away his loss to him. The reason Mikey lost to Spence is because he is too small, too slow, and too weak.

Mikey: The Pacquiao fight makes the best sense

“Manny’s a southpaw, but he’s a lot smaller in size,” said Mikey. “So, he’s shorter in height, doesn’t have the reach like some of these other welterweights. I think that fits much better to get an entertaining fight with me. And I think it just fits right.”

“I think that fight makes the best sense right now, to prove to everybody that I can be a world champion at the welterweight limit,” said Mikey.

It might make sense for Mikey to fight Pacquiao, but not necessarily to the boxing public. By taking a fight with Pacquiao, Mikey is stepping in front of arguably more deserving fighters that have earned a shot against him. There are a lot of contenders at 147 that have been waiting for a world title shot all the years, and Mikey would be jumping to the front of the line in facing Pacquiao.

When you lose a fight, as Mikey did in his unsuccessful title challenge of IBF champ Spence in 2019, you’re supposed to go to the end of the line to earn a second shot. Mikey hasn’t done that.

If Vargas was ranked in the top five by one or more of the sanctioning bodies, then you could partially say that Mikey has earned another crack at a world title. But the fact is, Vargas wasn’t ranked in the top 15 by ANY of the four sanctioning bodies. So in other words, Mikey beat a regular guy, and now he’s trying to talk his way into another title shot.

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