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Mikey Garcia can HURT Manny Pacquiao in later rounds – Joel Diaz

Manny Pacquiao Mikey Garcia

By Chris Williams: Trainer Joel Diaz is giving Mikey Garcia a good shot at defeating Manny Pacquiao when the time comes for them to fight. Mikey (40-1-1, 30 KOs) sounds almost obsessed at times with getting the fight against Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), and his dogged persistence could pay off.


Mikey will never be a big puncher at 140 or 147, and he’s going to have to figure out another way to beat Pacquiao if he can’t hurt him. Unfortunately, Mikey has a low punch output, and he can be outworked. So if he can’t hurt Pacquiao, then Mikey is going to be out of luck because he can’t outwork him.

Mikey has a shot at getting Pacquiao fight

He’s already viewed as being one of the possibilities for Manny’s next fight. Coach Diaz believes Mikey’s patience and old school style of fighting will enable him to take advantage of Pacquiao’s aggressive style of fighting.

Diaz notes that Pacquiao frequently uses a feint with his jab before rushing in to attack his opponent. Against Mikey, Pacquiao could pay the price by getting nailed if he continues to fight like that. Mikey has similar punching power as Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked Pacquiao out cold in 2012.

Diaz says Mikey will need to be careful in the first five rounds against Pacquiao when he’s fighting with full energy. Once Pacquiao fades a little in the second half, Mikey can then capitalize on it and hurt him with his power shots.

Manny Pacquiao Mikey Garcia

Pacquiao’s recklessness gives Mikey a chance

“I think it’s a great fight for Mikey Garcia because Garcia has great timing on his right hand,” said trainer Joel Diaz to Fighthub on a match between Mikey and Pacquiao. “Obviously right now, Manny Pacquiao isn’t the young Pacquiao from five years ago.

“We saw that Pacquiao did good in the early rounds, and then age started being a factor towards the end of the fight. Mikey still has a lot of gas in his tank. If Mikey Garcia can withstand the speed of Pacquiao in the early rounds and he plays it safe with Manny Pacquiao in the later rounds, he can hurt Manny with a right hand.

“Mikey Garcia is one of those guys who has an old school style. His defense and timing with the right hand. He sets the jab up really well and connects with the right hand. [Juan Manuel] Marquez was really effective with the right hand. Manny Pacquiao is a little reckless at times.

“He likes to jump in. And he has that one move where he fakes the jab and then steps in and goes full-body. He runs into a punch, especially Mikey; he’s really patient. He’s there with good defense. Manny’s speed is a factor in the early rounds for Mikey,” said Diaz.

Pacquiao isn’t as reckless as Diaz thinks he is. He’s kind of hard to hit cleanly when he’s attacking, and it’s not easy to hit him on a routine basis when he’s coming in.

Mikey isn’t a true 147-pound fighter, and his power isn’t the same as it was at 135. It wasn’t there at 140, and it’s been missing in action at 147 as well.

Mikey can hurt Pacquiao in the later rounds

“The thing is this; Mikey has a problem. If you can make Mikey move back, you can dominate,” said Diaz. “But if you have Mikey coming forward, he’s going t dominate. That’s one thing. I just think Mikey Garcia has to be cautious for five rounds.

“Just be patient, and time the right hand, and withstand the speed of Manny. In the later rounds, I think he can hurt Manny because Manny is already old. He’s 40-years-old, he’s had a long career, and he’s fought everybody in the boxing world. I think Mikey’s young, and at this point, I think he can beat him. It’s a balance,” said Diaz.

Mikey gassed in the second half of his fight against Jessie Vargas last February, and he wasn’t hurting him all. Between rounds five and seven, Mikey was at his best against Vargas. From the eighth round on, Vargas came on did the better work, and he looked like the stronger fighter.

If Mikey faces Pacquiao in 2020, he could have his hands full with him, and he could lose. Mikey’s power didn’t carry up with him in moving from lightweight to welterweight.

Although Mikey did briefly fight at 140 in beating Adrien Broner and Sergiy Lipinez, he didn’t knock out either of those guys. Mikey couldn’t even hurt them. What this suggests is that Mikey is a pumped-up lightweight.

That’s going to be bad news for Mikey when he gets in with Pacquiao because he’s going to need to possess legitimate power at 147 for him to fight him off. If Pacquiao doesn’t respect Mikey’s power, he won’t do well.

Manny Pacquiao Mikey Garcia

Pacquiao may get old against Mikey

“You balance activity with age and wear and tear,” said Diaz. “I can tell you one thing. Right now, there is a fighter out there in the boxing world that can be the golden ticket winner, which is the fighter that is going to get in the ring when that age kicks in.

“I can tell you when Miguel Cotto fought Sergio Martinez. That night, age kicked in with Martinez. I’m not taking anything away from Cotto; he’s a great fighter. I just think that if he got Sergio Martinez a year or two before, it would have been a difference.

“There are fighters that have such long careers and have such tough fights that age kicks in that night. When age kicks in, any fighter can beat you. Manny Pacquiao is active, he’s fast, and he’s had a long career. But right now, at his age, every fight can be his last.

“I’ve seen that with Francisco Vargas. Francisco Vargas was looking great going into his last fight against [Miguel] Berchelt. I said in my mind, ‘he looked good in camp, but I know he’s old. He’s had some tough fights. It’s about taking care of the body.’

“You can perform well. Your mind is going to tell you one thing, and your body gives you up. That’s the thing with boxing. When you get to a certain age, your body tells you one thing, but your body can only give you so much,” said Diaz.

It’s reasonable to assume that we’ll see the same Pacquiao that we saw in his fight against Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman last July. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to expect Pacquiao to age dramatically from that fight to a contest against Mikey.


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