Manny Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia in Dubai?
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao could now be facing Mikey Garcia in his next fight in Dubai. Pacquiao’s business adviser Arnold Vegafria posted on social media showing a poster of the former four-division world champion Mikey (40-0, 30 KOs), with Dubai, UAE, saying “soon.”
If Mikey is the next opponent for the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao, the fans are going to see it as a cherry-pick on the part of the Filipino star.
Mikey was for many years a top fighter at 126, 130, and 135, but he’s arguably semi-retired since 2018. And as we’ve seen in Mikey’s two fights at 147, he’s a marginal fringe-level fighter at best. Mikey’s clearly, not a true top-five welterweight, but the sanctioning bodies have ranked as follows:
- WBC – #2
- WBA – #3
- WBO – #3
The IBF doesn’t have Mikey ranked in their top 15 at all, which is arguably the way it should be. It’s nice that Mikey was a good fighter many years ago in the lower weight classes, but he’s done zero since moving up to 147 to deserve a top ranking.
That’s why it would be a cherry-pick for Pacquiao if he chooses to fight Mikey rather than one of the talented welterweights like Spence, Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas, Jaron Ennis, Vergil Ortiz Jr, or David Avanesyan. Pacquiao would likely lose to all of those fighters, which is why he’s not fighting them.
Even a rematch with Keith Thurman would be much preferable to a fight between Pacquiao and Mikey. Thurman probably would have beaten Pacquiao if he hadn’t started training camp at a fat 180+ for that fight.
It’s unclear what Thurman eats in between fights, but he needs to start taking care of himself and lay off the sweets or whatever he’s eating to put on so much weight.
Thurman was so fat recently that his face swelled up, making his eyes look funny.
Fans would much prefer to see a true welterweight take on Pacquiao instead of Mikey, who seems more into cars at this point in his life than his career.
The inactive Mikey, 33, has been trying to talk his way into a fight with Pacquiao ever since his one-sided 12 round decision loss to Errol Spence Jr.
Unfortunately, Mikey hasn’t shown any inclination to keep his career going by fighting top-level guys. Mikey has fought only twice since 2019, losing badly to Spence and then beating bottom fringe-level welterweight Jessie Vargas by a 12 round decision last year in February 2020.
Since then, Mikey has put on a lot of weight and talked nonstop to the media about wanting to fight Pacquiao. It’s unclear why Mikey is only interested in fighting Pacquiao, but some boxing fans believe he’s looking for a cash-out before retiring.
Pacquiao’s fight with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford is now off the table due to the investors from Abu Dhabi failing to come up with the funds to stage the fight on June 5th.
After the Crawford fight went up in smoke, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) was briefly mentioned as facing IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr (27-0, 21 KOs), but that fight isn’t happening either.
There’s no interest from Team Pacquiao in taking on the unbeaten Spence, but that’s not surprising to Chris Williams because the Filipino star has shown no interest in facing the unbeaten champion.
Mikey is just the latest of fighters that have been mentioned as a possible opponent for Pacquiao, who hasn’t fought in close to two years since his 12 round split decision win over Keith Thurman in July 2019.
The other fighters that have been brought up as being in the running for a fight against the 42-year-old Pacquiao are Conor McGregor and Ryan Garcia. McGregor blew his chance for a fight with Pacquiao by getting stopped in his last fight in the UFC by Dustin Poirier in January.
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- Andy Lee picks Pacquiao to defeat Spence
- Freddie Roach still offering Pacquiao’s sparring partners $1K if they can drop him
- Mikey Garcia blaming his inactivity on pandemic