By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia is still waiting and talking with Manny Pacquiao for a fight that he hopes will take place this year. Mikey (40-1, 33 KOs) says the negotiations take time, and the fight between them is still not official yet.
Mikey, 33, says he’ll be fighting in the summer if not sooner if he doesn’t get his much-hoped-for clash against the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
If Mikey can’t get the fight with Manny in the first half of 2021, he needs to get back in the ring and fight a top contender.
Right now, boxing fans believe that Mikey is no longer interested in competing in the sport, and just looking to hustle fights against top fighters like Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr, and Terence Crawford.
Since 2018, Mikey has backed off entirely from fighting for belts and looks to be someone whose main focus is setting up mega-fights.
“Nothing has been official, and I don’t know if there’s a fight yet,” said Mikey Garcia to Fighthype on a match between him and Manny Pacquiao.
“We’re waiting, we’re talking, but it’s back and forth. It takes a long time,” said Mikey.”It’s just the way it is.”
It would help if Mikey stayed busy between these fights by facing top contenders, but we haven’t seen that. Mikey talked his way into a fight with Spence in 2019, which he lost by a landside 12 round decision, then he fought journeyman Jessie Vargas last year.
Since then, Mikey hasn’t fought at all and has been sitting for the last 13 months, talking only about wanting to fight Pacquiao rather than about staying busy, facing top contenders.
The former four-division world champion Mikey hasn’t fought in over a year since his victory over Jessie Vargas in February 2020. That makes it more important for Mikey to get back in the ring soon so that he doesn’t lose too much from his game.
Losing weight will be crucial for Mikey, as he still looks chunky now, possibly weighing in the 180s or 190s. If he’s going to fight in May, Mikey will need to stop eating, and get in the gym because he’s got a lot of weight that he needs to lose.
During many of Mikey’s interviews, he’s eating, and it’s unclear if he’s going to be able to control that aspect of his life enough to trim off the pounds needed for him to make the 147-lb limit. At 5’6″, Mikey is too short for him to fight at 154 or 160.
“We’ll be back in May, June, this summer,” said Mikey about his next fight.
“So I’ll definitely be back. If it’s not Manny, then I’ll fight somebody else, something to get back, but definitely want to get back,” said Mikey.
If Mikey is serious about wanting to fight in May, he needs to stop eating and get in the gym and lose weight. He’s been carrying about a lot of fat on his frame for a long time now, and he’s got to put in some effort to trim that weight off.
At this point, it may not be possible for Mikey to lose weight without it negatively impacting his performance. I guess it may not matter if his net fight is against Pacquiao because his winning chances will be almost nil.
If Mikey can get back down to 147, he’ll likely be weak and no competition for Pacquiao. That’s why Mikey must face a lower-level opponent if he takes a stay-busy fight in May.
The problem with Mikey taking a tune-up fight is, he’ll likely need to face someone that the boxing public has heard of because if he’s a complete nobody, the networks will likely veto the idea of televising the fight.
I just don’t know who Mikey is actually capable of beating at 147 that the fans would want to see him fight. If you stick Mikey in with fringe contenders Maurice Hooker, Josesito Lopez, or David Avanesyan, he’ll probably lose to all of them.
That’s not to say that Mikey isn’t a good fighter. Someone like Vergil Ortiz Jr would slaughter Mikey, and it wouldn’t be pretty.
It’s more of Mikey’s case fighting out of his natural weight class of 135 and hurt his career with inactivity. The weight issue is bad enough, but the inactivity and fighting in the wrong division make Mikey vulnerable against even bottom feeders at 147.
Frankly, I think Mikey would lose to Hooker if they fought now, and we saw what happened to him last Saturday night in his loss to Vergil Ortiz Jr.
Mikey isn’t a natural 147-pounder, and he didn’t look good at all in his two fights in that weight division against Spence and Vargas. The only reason Mikey beat Vargas is that he’s over-the-hill and not one of the contenders in the 147-lb division.