Top Lightweight, Superlightweight Aces Dreaming of a Fight with Manny Pacquiao
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Tue, 12 Jan 2021
Kingry Garcia with Pacquiao.
Odd as it may seem but to this day, there are still those who believe Manny Pacquiao is a blownup lightweight who was just extraordinarily endowed and gifted to compete very well at welterweight.
They include not just fight sport fans but also boxers, even some trainers. Some perhaps old enough to have seen small but exemplary earlier fighters as Henry Armstrong and Roberto Duran conquering both the lightweights and the welterweights.
They can not be blamed for thinking so: Manny's size and physique can hardly pass for a lightweight or super lightweight at most, especially going by today's standards.
In fact, there are still even those who believe that it was only Bob Arum, his former long time promoter, who cajoled Manny to put on some more weight to move up to the welterweights because the big money fights were there.
It did not help that Manny had just one pit stop fight at lightweight and as few at super lightweight. Proponents of the belief claimed Manny was never truly tested at those weight divisions.
This had prompted fighters as Timothy Bradley and Chris Algieri, originally super lightweights; Brandon Rios, a lightweight and even a fierce rival from much lower weight classes in Juan Manuel Marquez to challenge Pacquiao at welterweight. Notwithstanding Manny establishing himself solidly at 147 by previously easily routing top flight welterweights as Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey and Shane Mosley and even the bigger Oscar de la Hoya and Tony Margarito.
In fairness, Bradley and Marquez came away with a creditable 1-2 and 1-1 respective win-loss record versus Pacquiao. Both has since retired from boxing, however.
It is worth noting that as recent as 2018, an essentially super blownup lightweight in Adrian Broner last tried his luck--- but dismally failed to pose even a semblance of threat to Manny.
The latest to step forward to declare his intention to cross mitts with Pacquiao was youthful undefeated American lightweight star in the making Ryan "Kingry" Garcia.
Garcia made this known in an interview with DAZN before his 7th round demolition of Luke Campbell, a tall and long handed tough British fighter to win the WBC interim lightweight title.
Kingry climb off a second round knockdown in the process of pinning Campbell his first and only knockout loss via a body punch. Campbell had previously lose only competitive decisions in past world title tries to the more seasoned and established Jorge Linares and the then pound for pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Veteran boxing columnist Paul Magno wrote: "(B)efore the Campbell fight even took place, Kingry was calling out the sport's most decorated active star Manny Pacquiao.
"My dream is I beat Tank Davis and then I end up getting a chance to fight Manny Pacquiao before he gets to go, Garcia told DAZN. Because he is one of my idols. He is one of those people I look up to, and I think he is that last great legend that after Muhammad Ali and all the other legends, he is one of those... So it will be an honor to be in the ring with him.
An ambitious young fighter calling out a cash cow like Pacquiao is certainly no surprise. And Garcia at 5 foot 10 actually stands a chance at making the two division climb up to Manny's current fighting weight."
Actually, prior to Kingry Garcia, another Garcia (no relation), Mikey, the former undefeated featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight and super lightweight champion now also fighting at welterweight has long been on the queue for a fight with Manny.
And apart from the two Garcias, there's also the undefeated Josh Taylor from the UK, the unified WBA-IBF and Ring Magazine champion and the ultimate winner of the World Boxing Super Series at super lightweight who has also signified his interest at sharing the ring with Pacquiao. Taylor like Ryan Garcia towers over Manny at 5'10".
These are three fine opponents to choose from for Manny should a unification fight versus any of WBC-IBF unified titlist Errol Spence and WBO champion Terrence Crawford fails to materialize within the year.
Crawford also came from the lower weights, the lightweight and super lightweight where he was unified champion but at 5'10" he has been a full blown welterweight for some time now.
If I were to choose, I will pick Mikey (who is almost the same size and physique as Pacquiao) as the one originating from the lower weights for the chance to fight Manny also for the opportunity to follow in his giant footstep.
But if you asked me, it is still fat chance for these tall or beefy lightweights to win against even this current 4.0 version of Manny Pacquiao.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 09215309477.
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