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Mikey vows best for Manny


PhilBoxing.com





A fight is farthest from super WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s mind in this pandemic but even as he’s focused on his chores as a legislator, potential opponents keep calling him out with former four-division world titlist Mikey Garcia the latest to declare willingness to battle even in Manila.

Garcia, 32, has held the WBO featherweight, WBO superfeatherweight, WBC/IBF lightweight and IBF superlightweight titles. He boasts a 40-1 record, with 30 KOs, and his only loss came in an attempt to dethrone IBF welterweight ruler Errol Spence in Arlington, Texas, last year. Garcia hopes to still add the 147-pound strap to his collection and his target is Pacquiao.

There was talk that Pacquiao and Garcia would face off in Saudi Arabia last July but the pandemic intervened. There was also talk that Pacquiao would meet MMA fighter Conor McGregor, also in Saudi Arabia, late this year but when the Irish brawler put up a mock poster of the bout on twitter, he was threatened with a law suit unless it was taken down within three hours of notice. The post was deleted, leading to a consensus of fake news.

Garcia, however, is insistent. “It’ll be an honor to fight Manny anywhere he wants,” Garcia told The Star yesterday. “He’s earned the right to choose where he’ll fight. The man’s a legend but I’m a fighter and I won’t back down from the opportunity to fight and beat a legend anywhere in the world.” Garcia said if Pacquiao wants to fight in Manila, he’s open to it.

Garcia’s older brother Robert, a former IBF superfeatherweight champion who began his training career in 2004, has been to Manila twice to work the corners of Nonito Donaire and Brian Viloria in separate fights. “Robert has many Filipino friends and wonderful memories of the Philippines,” said Garcia. “I hope someday to visit and perform before Filipino fans who are among the best boxing fans in the world.”

Garcia said of all the Pacquiao fights he has watched, the Filipino was at his best against Miguel Cotto whom he halted in 2009. Asked about his best performance, Garcia replied, “my best will be when I fight Manny.” His brother Robert has worked with a slew of world champions and was named Trainer of the Year by the Ring Magazine in 2011 and the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2012. “I know that’s the fight Mikey wants,” said Robert. “He wants the Pacquiao fight for sure. Hopefully, it happens.”

Garcia is fresh from a win over Jessie Vargas in Frisco, Texas, last February. Vargas and Adrien Broner are Garcia’s common opponents with Pacquiao. The only Filipino whom Garcia has fought was Bernabe Concepcion whom he stopped in 2012. Pacquiao, 41, totes a 62-7-2 record, with 39 KOs and has won five of his last six outings, the only loss a disputed decision to Jeff Horn in Brisbane in 2017. Pacquiao has won his last three fights over Lucas Matthysse, Broner and Keith Thurman.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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