Philippines, 14 Apr 2021
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Pacquiao vs Mikey Garcia Makes Sense, If It Happens

For the past couple of weeks the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes in boxing has heated up regarding which fighter will get a “big money fight” against the “Pound for Pound” (P4P) and future Boxing Hall of Famer whose record stands at 62-7-2, 39KOs.

Terrance Crawford, the three division and undefeated WBO welterweight champion and P4P number 1 ranked fighter, according to this writer’s list, was rumored for a possible fight in the Middle East with Pacquiao. There was also talk about charismatic interim WBC lightweight champion (135lbs) Ryan Garcia stepping up 2 weight classes to challenge Pacquiao which created a buzz in the boxing world. The Boxing community also heard that unified WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence was also considered as an opponent for Pacquiao. To date, as of the writing of this article no official announcement from the Pacquiao camp has been made as to who will be his next opponent. Former 4 division champion and also Future Hall of famer Mikey Garcia seems to be the one that will win the Pacquiao Sweepstakes. Why?

First and foremost Mikey is telling everyone that the fight is close to being signed. Mikey just can’t wait! It’s like Mikey has a point to prove by telling all those who doubted him he will land the Pacquiao fight. It seems Mikey’s attitude is “See I told you so”. God Bless Mikey if he gets the Pacquiao fight! This writer recalls reading that his brother and trainer former world champion Robert Garcia doubting a fight between Mikey and Pacquiao ever happening and he encouraged Mikey to move on.

Some may remember Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach had advocated for a fight between Pacquiao and Garcia in the past. Style wise, it makes sense. So what if Pacquiao is 42 years old. Reports are that Pacquiao does not abuse his body when not in training, lives a healthy lifestyle, stays in the gym to remain fit, and does not have to lose 30lbs-40lbs in between fights like some of his peers who want to fight him. Pacquiao is a young 42 years old. Pacquiao relies on intelligence, speed, and good boxing technique. Garcia is also intelligent, an excellent boxer as well, and has good boxing skill, but he was out boxed by Errol Spence and many boxing observers only scored one round for Garcia in his 12 round loss to Spence. Pacquiao has the edge in speed against Garcia unless he has lost his speed if and when he fights Garcia.

Manny Pacquiao’s listed height is a little over 5’5. Mikey Garcia's height is listed at 5’6. Other potential opponents Errol Spence listed height is a little over 5’9 and Crawford’s height is listed at 5’8. Ryan Garcia’s height is listed at 5’10. Jeff Horn’s height is listed at 5’9. Horn appeared to tower over Pacquiao when they fought. In spite of that, Pacquiao appeared to have defeated Horn. This writer scored the fight for Pacquiao, but the judges scored the fight for Horn. Mikey Garcia being very close to Pacquiao’s height is one less advantage style wise that an opponent will not have over Pacquiao.

Finally, the most important reason why Mikey Garcia makes sense as an opponent is Mikey’s Mexican heritage. Great Latin fighters generate millions of dollars because of the Latino base who are avid boxing fans. We saw it with De La Hoya and now Canelo Alvarez carries that mantle as they both appeal to the Latino demographics that bring in 100s of millions of dollars in Pay Per View (PPV) revenue. Pacquiao is not a Latin fighter but he broke into the mainstream and people outside of boxing know who he is.

There was a rumored fight with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Connor McGregor that was all but signed. McGregor had 1 previous boxing match against Floyd Mayweather that grossed a reported $600 million! McGregor, because of his mainstream status and ability to generate money, was rumored to be Pacquiao’s next opponent. For whatever reason, McGregor recently took an MMA fight and lost badly (by 2nd round knockout) to Dustin Poirier. Pacquiao-McGregor is currently not going to happen.

Pacquiao, a current Senator in the Philippines, will likely retire after 1 or 2 more fights to pursue further political aspirations. It makes financial sense to pursue the “Big Money fights” before he retires. What other current fighter in Pacquiao’s weight class can generate substantial revenue other than Mikey Garcia? Garcia also has the boxing resume. Within the last 24 hours of the writing of this article, the state of Texas has made the bold move of lifting Covid 19 (Corona Virus) restrictions. If that edict holds, that means that a Pacquiao-Mikey Garcia fight can potentially take place at the AT&T stadium to a large capacity crowd similar to the Mikey Garcia-Spence fight in 2019. The listed capacity for the AT&T stadium is 80,000 and can expand to 105,000, if need be. The Boxing world may once again have a Mega fight with persons in attendance on PPV since the pandemic. These are all the reason why Pacquiao-Garcia makes sense, if it happens. Stay tuned.

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Boxing Notes

Even if Pacquiao-Mikey Garcia fight happens, Spence-Crawford for the undisputed world welterweight championship is likely NOT going to happen. In order for a fight to happen, BOTH FIGHTERS HAVE TO WANT THE FIGHT, NOT JUST ONE FIGHTER, BUT BOTH. There has to be FINANCIAL COMPROMISE on both sides. It cannot be one sided. Remember when the public wanted to see Riddick Bowe v Lennox Lewis? Only one fighter wanted the fight. So the Bowe-Lewis fight never got signed. Boxing Fans just need to forget about Spence v Crawford… Undefeated former WBC 168lbs champion David Benavidez is calling out IBF 168lbs champion Caleb Plant. That fight is likely not going to happen as Plant has fulfilled his mandatory defense by defeating Caleb Truax and can now wait for the winner of Canelo-Saunders 168lbs unification so he can unify with Canelo in a “Big Money” optional fight, if Canelo wins. It seems Plant would’ve been a good boxing advisor to Connor McGregor before McGregor took the Poirier fight instead of waiting for the Manny Pacquiao fight… In regards to Benavidez calling out WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, Benavidez has said Charlo is insisting Benavidez be vaccinated (for Covid 19) and also they fight at a “catchweight” (agreed upon weight to fight by both fighters). Benavidez has said he is willing to be vaccinated but it was Charlo who “called him out” (challenged him) so he will not fight at a “catchweight”. Benavidez has even said he will knock out Charlo as he is in this business (boxing) to knock people out, not make friends. Let’s see what Charlo’s response to Benavidez is… Inquiring minds are wondering when former 3 division champ Vasiliy Lomachenko will make his return to boxing. He is currently recovering from shoulder surgery. He was last seen losing his 135lbs titles by a close decision to Teofimo Lopez. Lomachenko has previously won a title at 130lbs. It may not be a bad idea for Lomachenko to return to 130lbs instead of fighting lightweights who walk around close to middleweight (160lbs) in between fights when not in training. There are big money fights at 130lbs, such as Shakur Stevenson and the new WBC 130lbs King Oscar Valdez…Finally, ALL DUE RESPECT AND CREDIT to Oscar Valdez for defeating a great fighter Miguel Berchelt that all the 130lbs belt holders avoided like the plague! If any reader can email me any articles or information of the other champions challenging Berchelt before he lost to Valdez I’d like to see it! Valdez’s victory was “fight of the year”, in my opinion. 95% of boxing writers picked Berchelt to defeat Valdez by knockout. So did this writer. Valdez victory was shocking because Berchelt, in this writer's opinion, was in the top 10 P4P of this writer’s list. Valdez cracks the P4P list with his victory.

***Ralph Rimpell is a writer based out of New York and is a Boxing Correspondent for Ralph holds an undergraduate degree from City University of New York. He has been a Boxing Writer for over ten years having written for several top boxing websites on the World Wide Web. Before becoming a writer, Ralph's passion was for professional wrestling until he realized professional wrestling was entertainment and not a real sport. It was at that time the 1984 US Olympic team made up of future stars such as Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, etc. entered the professional ranks and signed with promotional outfit Main Events.It was also at that time a young exciting Heavyweight originally hailing from Brooklyn named Mike Tyson also turned professional and became the face of boxing. Young boxing fan Ralph just couldn't get enough of boxing as a large part of it was being broadcast on "free TV". As time went on, Ralph felt boxing writers were not being forthcoming with their boxing coverage, opinion pieces, interviews, etc. So Ralph decided to write an article and submitted it to a Boxing website thinking it would be deleted and ignored by the Editor. To Ralph's surprise his article was posted on their website and the readers embraced it. The rest is history.

"I thank God for the Internet because it has created opportunities for writers like myself who likely would not have been given an opportunity to write for print publications. I hope someday soon to expand my role in Boxing on different levels." -- Ralph Rimpell

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ralph Rimpell.

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