Mikey Garcia hasn’t given up on Manny Pacquiao fight

By Sean Jones: Mikey Garcia is still talking about wanting to face Manny Pacquiao, and he’s not giving up on that match. The highly ranked welterweight Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) says he would have fought WBA 147-lb champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) in July if not for the pandemic messed up his plans.

Mikey said he was talking to Team Pacquiao about a fight in December, but that’s not going to happen either. In the meantime, Mikey has been sitting inactive since his 12 round unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas last February.

The former four-division world champion Garcia, 32, could have stayed active and put himself in a position to fight one of the welterweight champions, but he’s done nothing.

Some boxing fans think Mikey is too needy for the Pacquiao and is just looking to cash out before retiring. They don’t think he sees boxing as a sport any longer and is just trying to hustle fights against popular fighters that he doesn’t deserve to fight.

It would be better for Mikey to forget about Manny and try and prove himself as a legitimate welterweight contender, which he hasn’t done.

Pacquiao, 41, is done for the year, and there’s no indication when he will fight again. If the pandemic continues to cause problems worldwide through 2021, Pacquiao will likely stay out of the ring and focus on his senatorial job in the Philippines.

Image: Mikey Garcia hasn't given up on Manny Pacquiao fight

Mikey says Pacquiao was going to fight him

“That was a fight we were looking forward to,” said Mikey Garcia to the Snowqueenla about a fight with Pacquiao. “We’d already started conversations regarding a possible fight with Manny for this past July.

“After I fought [Jessie] Vargas, the conversations with Team Pacquiao started to move forward. The idea was to fight Manny this past summer. We had July in mind a few weeks after the fight with Vargas.

“We had the pandemic hit, it shut things down and it messed up everybody’s plans. That was disappointing. I was already looking forward to a big fight. It didn’t happen, but I know there’s still a possibility there.

“Two months ago, I was in contact with members of Team Pacquiao, and we were actually thinking by the end of the year, we could get back and fight each other sometime in December.

“This was two months ago, figuring by December things are back to normal. Well, obviously they’re not back to normal. We’re in November. There are signs of it moving forward but slower.

“We’re [Pacquiao] obviously not going to do the fight in December, and that’s why I haven’t made a big push to be in boxing conversations right now.

“Why waste time and talk so much when I know it’s not going to happen. So I’m letting time tell when we’re going to be back,” said Mikey.

It would be interesting to hear Pacquiao’s side to see if he actually is interested in fighting Mikey. Right now, Mikey is the only one talking about this fight, and it seems one-sided. In the past, when Pacquiao wanted to fight someone, he made it known. We’re not getting that with Mikey.

Pacquiao would look bad if he took a fight with Mikey, who hasn’t beaten a quality welterweight since moving up to the 147-lb division in 2019.

Mikey lost to Errol Spence badly last year, and then he fought over-the-hill Jessie Vargas. In both fights, Mikey looked poor.

Image: Mikey Garcia hasn't given up on Manny Pacquiao fight

McGregor doesn’t deserve Pacquiao fight, says Mikey

“Pacquiao can definitely fight Conor [McGregor]. He can fight whoever he wants,” said Mikey. “He’s done so much for boxing. He’s allowed to do whatever he wants.

“But I know Manny Pacquiao is the type of fighter that fights for legacy and wants to prove to everybody that he’s one of the best in the world and that age is not a factor when it comes to Manny.

“So a fight with Conor doesn’t really do that for him. It doesn’t really do anything for his legacy, but it does do a lot for business. It makes a lot of money, and if they do that fight, that’s what it is.

“It’s a business behind it. I don’t feel that Conor deserves a fight with Manny. He hasn’t done anything in boxing, and when he stepped in with Floyd, Floyd was going to beat him. He’s the best in the world.

“But at least Conor gave it a try. But now to say that he’s earned another shot and he’s trying to fight Manny, it kind of doesn’t make a lot of sense when there’s a lot of other fighters that are actively fighting, including myself.

For them to feel that Conor deserves or is entitled to it, I don’t agree with that. If they do decide to do a fight with them and it’s a charity or an exhibition, then I’m all for that.

“Great, I support that. It’s kind of difficult to accept Conor getting in the boxing ring again when he hasn’t done s***. It’s like me calling out [actor] Bradley Cooper or Matt Damon [for a fight]. He’s popular too, right?

“That makes no sense. That’s kind of how I see it. If they [Pacquiao and McGregor] do fight, there’s nothing I can do. Let them fight. But I think a lot of the boxing world will criticize for those reasons,” said Mikey.

You can argue that McGregor is as deserving of a fight with Pacquiao as Mikey Garcia at this point. Really, Mikey hasn’t done anything at 147 in terms of beating contenders. He was given a world title shot by IBF welterweight champion Spence that he didn’t earn, and he lost that fight badly.

Image: Mikey Garcia hasn't given up on Manny Pacquiao fight

In Mikey’s last fight, he fought second-tier guy Jessie Vargas, who is no longer ranked at 147 because he hasn’t beaten a top fighter in many years. The last time Vargas beat a top welterweight was in 2016 when he defeated Sadam Ali. Since then, Vargas has had these results:

  • Manny Pacquiao – UD 12 defeat
  • Aaron Herrera – UD 10 against a journeyman
  • Adrien Broner – Draw 12
  • Thomas Dulorme – Draw 12
  • Humberto Soto – KO 6 at junior middleweight