Manny Pacquiao adviser hints Mikey Garcia next for him
By Chris Williams: Advisor Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions gave a big hint over the weekend that Manny Pacquiao will be facing Mikey Garcia in his next fight. Gibbons posted a photo on Instagram of him posing with Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Mikey Garcia, and said, “One Down One to Go!”
What Gibbons is hinting at is Pacquiao has already beaten ‘One Time’ Thurman last July, so he’s who he’s referring to as “One Down,” and Mikey is the guy that is “One to go.”
Garcia already fought for a world title against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr in 2019. Mikey has beaten just one fighter since then, NON-contender Jessie Vargas.
So you can’t say that Mikey has earned a second titles shot. For Mikey to be given another world title shot so soon after losing to champion Spence, it would set a bad example where a fighter doesn’t need to earn the right to challenge for a title. It’s just given to them based on their popularity.
Mikey would be a BIG step down for the 41-year-old Pacquiao if he chooses to face him next. Manny is coming off of an impressive 12 round split decision victory over Keith Thurman last year in July, and boxing fans were hoping that he would face Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, or Shawn Porter next.
Mikey (40-1, 30 KOs) redeemed himself recently following an embarrassingly one-sided 12 round decision loss to Errol Spence by coming back last February to beat Jessie Vargas.
Ignoring two of the judges’ wacky scorecards that had Mikey winning 116-111 x 2, the fight was a close one.
Mikey Garcia hasn’t earned the Pacquiao fight
Vargas appeared to dominate the first four rounds, and then the last two. That should have given Vargas six rounds.
The difference in the fight in the fight was Mikey scoring a knockdown in the fifth round, so the 114-113 score given the judge David Sutherland was a fair one. Mikey deserved the win, but it was razor close.
Boxing fans don’t want to see Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) Mikey, who is viewed as someone that has taken the backdoor route to get a fight against the Filipino star. It’s not that Mikey hasn’t proved himself in the past in capturing four-division world titles, but he hasn’t done anything at 147.
Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) used to be a good – but not great – welterweight four years ago, but his career has been on the skids since 2016.
Since losing to Pacquiao in a one-sided fight in 2016, Vargas has two 12 round draws against Adrien Broner and Thomas Dulorme, as well as two wins over journeyman Aaron Herrera and 40-year-old former two-division world champion Humberto Soto.
Vargas WASN’T ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies at the time that Mikey fought him, and for a good reason.
He hadn’t beaten anyone good in four years since his victory over Sadam Ali in 2016. Little Humberto Soto is a lightweight, who Matchroom Boxing signed to fight Jessie Vargas in the junior middleweight division. What’s wrong with this picture. Why is Vargas fighting the 40-year-old lightweight Soto at 154?
Mikey has little chance against Pacquiao
Pacquiao will likely beat the brakes off Mikey because he lacks the hand speed, power, and work rate for him to compete against him or any of the top 147-pounders. The only reason Mikey beat Vargas is that he’s NOT a top tier welterweight. Vargas is yesterday’s news, a fighter that got a big payday against Pacquiao in 2016, and then his career immediately tanked severely.
Was it the money? I’m sure that played a part in taking away Vargas’ hunger, but it’s deeper than that. Vargas was never a great fighter at 140. He had controversial wins over Khabib Allakhverdiev and Antonio Novikov at light-welterweight, and then he moved up to 147 and was easily beaten by Timothy Bradley in 2015.
If this fight with Mikey happens, Pacquiao would be using him as an easy payday to make money without risking his neck. Mikey doesn’t belong at 147 or 140. His wins over Adrien Broner and Sergey Lipinets at 140 were nothing special because neither of those guys is in the same league as the top fighters in that division.
Mikey was smart to go after the soft guys in Broner and Lipinets at 140 rather than these talented fighters:
- Jose Ramirez
- Josh Taylor
- Regis Prograis
Terence Crawford was still fighting at 140 at the time that Mikey fought Lipinets for his IBF light-welterweight title in early 2018. Mikey could have fought Crawford, Prograis, Taylor, or Ramirez, but instead, he fought Lipinets. That’s not talent enabled Mikey to do well in winning a world title at 140. It’s called careful match-making.
Why didn’t Mikey try and earn a title shot?
If Mikey had beaten a couple of top-level welterweights to earn the title shot against Pacquiao, then he wouldn’t be so bad. Mikey’s record is 1-1 at 147, and his win over Vargas was against a second-tier fighter, not a contender.
Pacquiao should show some class and tell Mikey to get in line, and prove himself by beating one or two of these contenders to earn the title shot:
- Keith Thurman
- Danny Garcia
- Yordenis Ugas
- Shawn Porter
- Regis Prograis
Mikey would likely lose to all of those fighters, which is why he didn’t select any of them last February when he fought in Frisco, Texas. Instead of fighting those guys, Mikey hand-picked Jessie Vargas, a guy that is living off the memories of 1,500 yesterday’s ago.
Vargas is over-the-hill and no longer relevant, and it would be sad if Mikey gets a title shot against Pacquiao after a win over him instead of someone competent.
If Pacquiao selects little 5’6″ Mikey Garcia for his next fight, it would suggest that he doesn’t have the confidence to take on the good welterweights like Spence or Shawn Porter. That fight against Thurman might have been a lot harder than people think it was because Manny is now on the verge of milking his WBA title against a no-hoper in Mikey.
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