Jose Ramirez: Mikey Garcia hits harder than Manny Pacquiao
By Chris Williams: Light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez says Mikey Garcia is a bigger puncher than Manny Pacquiao, and he sees those two as making for a great fight if it happens. Mikey, 32, has been on the campaign trail for the last year, banging the drum endlessly to try and drum up support from fans to get him the Pacquiao fight.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is known for his heavy hands and his many knockouts of more prominent fighters than himself at 147.
This would be a big step down in class for Pacquiao to go from fighting welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman to be fighting Mikey Garcia, who was recently food for Errol Spence. It’s evident that Mikey does not belong at 147, and he looks like he’s trying to hustle fights against the big names like Pacquiao.
The only chance Mikey has of beating Pacquiao is if he changes his fighting style, and becomes a volume puncher. If Mikey could throw 80 to 100 shots per round for an entire 12 round fight, he might give Pacquiao some problems. Apart from that, Mikey is going to get wiped out by Manny. Additionally, boxing fans are going to be angry about ordering the fight on pay-per-view.
Does Mikey Garcia deserve a title shot against Pacquiao?
Mikey talked his way into a fight he didn’t deserve against IBF welterweight champion Spence in 2019, and now he’s trying to do it again by looking to challenge WBA 147-lb champion Pacquiao.
With a record of 1-1 at welterweight, Mikey shouldn’t be getting a title shot after losing last year to IBF champ Spence. Mikey did bounce back from the loss to beat NON-contender Jessie Vargas, but that was a second-tier guy, who has been a part-timer since losing to Pacquiao four years ago in 2016.
If Mikey had beaten a top tier contender after his loss to Spence, then it wouldn’t look as bad for him to be getting another title fight against Pacquiao. Picking a lower-level old guy in Jessie Vargas as his opponent instead of a top 15 fighter, you can’t even count that as Mikey having redeemed himself.
The power of Mikey and Pacquiao is too close for it to be any kind of an advantage for Garcia if the two battle it out. Mikey said last week that Manny’s manager Sean Gibbons told him that Pacquiao said he was excited about a fight against him. Mikey is hopeful that he’ll get that fight with the 41-year-old Pacquiao later this year.
If it happens, we can find out who the harder puncher is, and whether it matters. Mikey can’t afford to let Pacquiao machinegun him with shots all night long the way that past his prime 2nd tier welterweight Jessie Vargas did against him last February in Frisco, Texas. Vargas was outworking Mikey by a six to one clip, and he made him look slow in terms of speed and reaction time.
Mikey’s power advantage not enough
The former four-division world champion Mikey (40-1, 30 KOs) may have slightly better power than Pacquiao, but he lacks his hand speed and combination punching. Moreover, Mikey’s work-rate is too low for him to beat the top welterweights like Errol Spence, Pacquiao, Terence Crawford, and Shawn Porter.
Mikey is too economical with his shots, and he would quickly fall behind against a fighter like Pacquiao and end up losing a lopsided 12 round decision as he did against Spence.
Without hand speed, footwork, work rate, or boxing skills, Mikey will be over-matched when he faces Pacquiao. The fans will likely see a poor fight on pay-per-view, and they’ll be upset about the one-sided nature of it, as they were when Spence beat Mikey with ease in 2019.
“Good fight, different styles,” said Jose Ramirez to ESNEWS when asked his thoughts on a Manny Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia match. “Mikey is very patient, but he can place his shots really good. It’ll be a good fight,” said Ramirez.
It would take a lot more than a slight power advantage that Mikey supposedly has over Pacquiao for him to beat him. At 147, Mikey looks like a toy cannon. He can land occasional big shots the way cannon does, but it takes him too long to reload to throw another big punch.
It takes ages to reload an old fashioned cannon, and it’s the same thing with Mikey Garcia. If Pacquiao nails Mikey with a flurry of 10 shots to the head before he finally fires a shot back, Mikey will end up on the canvas in short order if he fights that way against Pacquiao.
Ramirez: Mikey has heavier hands than Pacquiao
“I think Mikey has the heavier hands [than Pacquiao],” said Ramirez. “It’s just that Pacquiao puts them together really well. He throws three or four punches.
“It doesn’t take a lot of power to land a clean shot for someone to fill it, as long as the shot is pointed properly, it can hurt anybody. Oh yeah, that’s a good fight.
“It would be a good fight for Pacquiao because Mikey’s not the biggest 147-pounder. The same thing with Mikey. Pacquiao’s not the biggest 147-pounder. It’ll be a fight that makes sense for both of them,” said Jose Ramirez.
The problem Mikey has is he can’t change. His basic boxing DNA is a fighter that takes forever to throw a punch, and in the meantime, he’s getting riddled to pieces with shots.
Power alone won’t be enough for Mikey to beat Pacquiao if he can’t throw more than a small handful of shots each round. At 147, Mikey’s fighting style is archaic, and not well-suited to this era.
In the past, Mikey was able to get away with having a horrible work rate based on his massive power at 126, 130, and 135. But since moving up to 147, Mikey’s power isn’t enough for him to win with his low work rate. He can beat the second tier, over-the-hill guys, like Jessie Vargas, but not quality fighters ranked in the top 15.
Pacquiao should tell Mikey to prove himself first by facing a good 147-pounder like Keith Thurman, Porter, Yordenis Ugas, or Vergil Ortiz Jr before he looks to meet him. Mikey hasn’t done that, and it’s troubling that he has a sense of entitlement about deserving a title shot against Pacquiao.
“He’s very heavy-handed, he really is,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr on Mikey Garcia.
“Vergil hits harder than Pacquiao,” said Ramirez.
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