Mikey Garcia talks Pacquiao wanting low-risk fights
By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia sounds like he’s having a hard time letting go of the fight that he’s been shooting for against Manny Pacquiao for the last couple of years.
Mikey (40-1, 33 KOs) says he still wants the fight against the 42-year-old Pacquiao, but that he feels that he’s just looking for “low-risk, high reward” level matches against fighters like Ryan Garcia and Conor McGregor at this stage in his career.
What’s interesting is Mikey doesn’t appear to include himself in the category of being a “low-risk” fight for Pacquiao, but you can definitely put him in that bracket.
The way Mikey looked in his two fights at 147 against Errol Spence Jr and Jessie Vargas, he fits in the low-risk group quite nicely, possibly a step below Ryan Garcia.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) appears to be focusing on facing opposition that has stayed active and not just been sitting around, getting fat, and trying to get a big payday.
The former eight-division world champion Pacquiao despite being up there in age at 42, he’s still dedicated, keeping in shape, and looking to accomplish more. It’s unclear what the problem is with Mikey, who is 33, but hasn’t fought in 12 months, and has been fighting only once a year since 2019.
Mikey: Pacquiao looking for a low-risk fight
“Who wouldn’t? Everybody would like to fight Pacquiao,” said Mikey Garcia to Little Giant Boxing. “Is it going to happen? I don’t know. It was supposed to happen. Towards the end of the year, I heard him talking about Conor McGregor. Then he started talking about Ryan Garcia.
“I haven’t talked to him. From that, it tells me that Manny is looking for a low-risk, high reward type of fight. He’s obviously earned to call the shots. He’s done it all in boxing. There’s nothing left for him to prove or claim.
“If he wants to go out and retire on a big event because these guys would make it a big event and have the least amount of risk, so be it.
“He’s earned that right. If he’s looking for a real fight, a challenging fight, then he would have to look at actual welterweight fighters
“Everybody would like to see Manny fight a big fight and challenge himself,” Mikey continued. “So if he fights someone like Ryan, f*** it, he’s earned it.
“I would fight him, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to Manny. I’m going to start training to get a little bit in shape,” said Mikey Garcia.
We’ve heard recently that Pacquiao is interested in challenging WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford for his title, and that’s certainly not a “low-risk” level fight.
What we don’t know is how serious Pacquiao is about wanting the Crawford fight, as he’s asking for $40 million.
Mikey says fans think he’s fighting Pacquiao
“People asking me if I’m fighting Pacquiao because they saw he’s training,” Mikey said. “He just announced that he started his training camp. It’s very impressive what he’s able to do, even at this age .
“Most fighters are unable to do that. He takes care of his body, and has that drive still, has that hunger. It’s like an obsession with him to keep winning titles. They don’t have an age where they want to retire. They want to keep doing it until their body says, ‘No more.’
“That was a year ago, 29th of February,” Mikey said about his last fight against Jessie Vargas in 2020. “That was a good fight, Jessie fought really well. I was the better fighter,” said Mikey.
Whatever chance Mikey had of fighting Pacquiao went out the window in 2020 with the pandemic and the time that he’s spent with his senatorial job in the Philippines.
Mikey has made things worse for himself by not staying in the public eye, fighting elite-level contenders at 147 to make him a more viable alternative for Pacquiao.
If Mikey had stayed active all this time by fighting twice in 20210, he would be an option for Pacquiao.
With that said, Mikey would have likely been soundly beaten if he did fight a true contender and not a washed-up guy like he did in his last fight against Jessie Vargas.
There’s a slim chance that Mikey can still get the Pacquiao fight, but only if he gets a couple of wins under his belt in 2021 against these contenders:
- Keith Thurman
- Danny Garcia
- Shawn Porter
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Jaron Ennis
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- David Avanesyan
It would be a difficult ask for Mikey to beat any of those fighters, let alone beating two of them. But if he doesn’t want to get the Pacquiao fight, he’s got to show that he’s still for real and not just someone looking for a cash-out opportunity.
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- Bob Arum predicts Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence fight