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Mikey Garcia says he’s fighting Manny Pacquiao next 100%, not Conor McGregor

Image: Mikey Garcia says he's fighting Manny Pacquiao next 100%, not Conor McGregor

By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia says Conor McGregor won’t be the next opponent for Manny Pacquiao. The former four-division world champion Mikey (40-1, 30 KOs) states that it will be him that takes on the 41-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) in 2021.

Some might say that Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia is the exact type of fight that UFC president Dana White was talking about when he explained hat’s hurting boxing are promotions that are “going out of business” type of events.

White talked about poor fights that have no intention of being competitive or entertaining being sold to the public.

Mikey claims that he’ll be the next opponent for the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao and he’s “100 percent” sure of that.

Unfortunately for the 32-year-old Mikey, boxing fans DON’T want to see WBA welterweight champion Pacquiao face him. They want to see Manny take on IBF/WBC champ Errol Spence Jr or WBO champion Terence Crawford. As far as the casual boxing fans go, many of them wouldn’t mind seeing Pacquiao take on former UFC star McGregor in his next fight.

Pacquiao hasn’t said who he plans on fighting next, but it would be a let down for boxing fans if he picks Mikey as his next opponent. After two fights at 147, it’s evident that Mikey isn’t big enough to be a factor in the welterweight division.

If the Pacquiao vs. Mikey fight happens, it’ll likely be on pay-per-view, and it could result in poor sales. For the fans that do pay to watch it, they may end up angry afterward at having wasted their money. In some respects, it would be the equivalent of Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Logan Paul.

Image: Mikey Garcia says he's fighting Manny Pacquiao next 100%, not Conor McGregor

In other words, Pacquiao vs. Garcia will be a circus fight that won’t be even remotely competitive. Mikey is a good fighter in the lower weight classes, but he’s too short, too weak, and too slow at 147. Also, Mikey’s historically poor work-rate handicaps him at 147.

Mikey Garcia: Manny Pacquiao’s next fight is against me

“No fight yet. Me personally, I don’t have a fight date yet. I think it’ll be 2021,” said Mikey Garcia to Fighthype. “I saw the Tweets from [Conor] McGregor, but I haven’t seen any from Pacquiao. Are there any responses from Pacquiao yet? I haven’t seen any.

“I only saw what McGregor Tweeted out that his next fight is Manny Pacquiao in Saudi Arabia or the Middle East or something like that. Well, I think he might be right. I’m pretty confident that his next fight is Manny Pacquiao. Manny Pacquiao’s next fight is NOT Conor McGregor.

“Manny Pacquiao’s next fight is with me. So McGregor has to take a number. McGregor’s next fight might be against Manny Pacquiao, but before that, Manny Pacquiao has to fight me first, and that’s 100%,” Garcia said.

It sounds like Mikey is just talking and hoping that Pacquiao will elect to fight him next rather than knowing for sure. Pacquiao fighting little Mikey makes zero sense because he can make more money facing McGregor, Spence, or Crawford.

There isn’t demand from boxing fans in a Pacquiao-Garcia fight, and one primary reason for that is Mikey’s poor showings at 147 against Spence and Vargas. Mikey’s record is 1-1 at welterweight, and he already fought for a world title in 2019 against Spence and lost. Mikey would be the last guy that fans want to see Pacquiao fight at this point.

If it were a stay busy type of situation, Mikey would be a decent warm-up opponent for Pacquiao, but it’s not a fight that will attract interest.

In boxing, a world title challenger that gets beaten has to rebuild and get moved back up the rankings before they’re given another title shot. What Mikey is trying to do is go right back in there to challenge for a world title despite getting beaten when challenging Spence last year for his IBF belt.

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It’s like a team going to the Super Bowl and getting blown out, and then asking to be put right back into another Super Bowl without earning their way to the game by winning and progressing through the playoffs.

Garcia hasn’t earned another title shot at 147

You can argue that if Mikey is given a title shot against Pacquiao in his next fight, it’ll make a mockery of the sport of boxing, as he’ll be given the title shot without earning it. That sends the wrong message when a fighter keeps getting title chances after losing fights. Yes, Mikey has achieved a great deal during his 14-year professional career, but he’s not done anything at welterweight.

You can’t look at Mikey’s win over Jessie Vargas and say that he proved himself worthy to fight for another world title, as Jessie wasn’t ranked in the top 15 when he fought him. Ideally, for Mikey to be given another world title shot against a famous star like Pacquiao, he should have to beat someone like Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, Shawn Porter, or Yordenis Ugas to get there.

Mikey didn’t fight any of those guys to get a fight with Pacquiao for his WBA welterweight title. Mikey picked out Vargas, a former WBO 147lb champion, who is no longer ranked in the top 15 at welterweight due to inactivity and a lack of success since losing his title to Pacquiao in 2016.

Since losing his WBO 147lb title to Pacquiao, Vargas has had two draws against Thomas Dulorme and Adrien Broner and wins over 40-year-old Humberto Soto and journeyman Aaron Herrera.

If Mikey was serious about wanting to fight Pacquiao, he would set up a fight with Ugas, Porter, or Thurman in December, and then prove that he can hold his own at 147. Right now, it would be a joke for Pacquiao to defend against little Mikey.

Image: Mikey Garcia says he's fighting Manny Pacquiao next 100%, not Conor McGregor

WBA has Mikey ranked above Thurman

The #4 ranking for Mikey given by the World Boxing Association at welterweight is a peculiar one because he hasn’t beaten anyone good enough to rate that high ranking. Believe it or not, the WBA has Mikey ranked above Thurman. That ranking makes no sense, as Thurman would likely destroy Mikey in a one-sided fight.

Fans would prefer to see Pacquiao face Thurman in a rematch than watching a mismatch between him and Mikey. Thurman at least has size, power, and talent to compete with Pacquiao at 147. Mikey would be an easy win for Pacquiao, and the fans wouldn’t get their money’s worth in paying to see the slaughter on PPV.

Pacquiao vs. Garcia in 2021

“How did they do Mayweather-McGregor? It’s entertainment, and it’s business, so why not?” said Mikey when asked how will they do the Pacquiao-Garcia fight. “I’ll watch it. It’s entertainment. Why do people watch WWE? It’s entertainment.

“Why do people watch the really bad fights out there? It’s entertainment. Manny Pacquiao’s next fight is with me. That’s going to happen, watch. It won’t be this year. It’ll be next year,” Mikey Garcia said.

If Pacquiao fights Mikey Garcia rather than Crawford, Spence, or McGregor, there will be a tremendous backlash from the boxing public. It would be viewed as a weak, safety-first move on Manny’s part if he took the fight with Mikey.

Image: Mikey Garcia says he's fighting Manny Pacquiao next 100%, not Conor McGregor

Manny does deserve to take a soft fight against a weak opponent like Mikey, but now isn’t the time for that type of a virus vent. Boxing needs a quality fight during the pandemic, and Pacquiao-Garcia doesn’t meet that criterion. It’s more of a battle that will anger boxing fans, making them feel ripped off after it turns out to be as one-sided as the Spence vs. Mikey fight in 2019.

The sport needs good fights to help bring back the fans, not turn them away for good. Pacquiao will be angering many people if he takes on Mikey rather than a quality fighter from the 147-lb division.

Does Mikey deserve a fight with Pacquiao?

Many people view Mikey as an underserving opponent for Pacquiao now that he’s fighting at 147, a division that he doesn’t fit in well with. Mikey has fought twice since moving up to 147 in 2019, losing to Spence Jr by an embarrassingly one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in March 2019, and then struggling to beat Jessie Vargas last February.

Is Mikey is just hustling fights? Some fans see this as a just cash grab for Mikey in looking to challenge Pacquiao, and they think the Oxnard, California native isn’t serious about his career any longer.

Mikey moved out of his weight class of 135 in 2017, going up to 140 for a fight against Adrien Broner, which he won by a 12 round unanimous decision. Even though Mikey didn’t look great against Broner, he then took on Spence Jr in 2019 and lost.

Image: Mikey Garcia says he's fighting Manny Pacquiao next 100%, not Conor McGregor

Without any experience at 147, Mikey arranged a title shot against IBF welterweight champion Spence last year, and he looked terrible in losing to him.

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