After hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach suggested his fighter Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao was interested in going up to middleweight to fight IBF champion and KO artist Gennady “GGG” Golovkin for a 9th weight division title, the boxing world was eager to start discussion on a possible showdown.
Pacquiao holds a record 8 weight division world championships and started his fighting career at 106-pounds in the mid 90s as a teenager.
He became something of a mythical figure after jumping all the way to 147-pounds to take on “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya in a fight almost nobody gave him a chance to win and stopping De La Hoya retiring the Golden Boy for good.
He went on to destroy and go toe to toe with much larger men, making him a modern day David taking on Goliath in most of his boxing matches.
One man familiar with Pacquiao’s ability to climb divisions is top trainer Robert Garcia who cornered Brandon Rios and Antonio Margarito when they fought the Filipino southpaw.
Pacquiao claimed his 8th weight division world title at 154 pounds when he took on Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC belt. Margarito at 5’11 and weighing 170-pounds on fight night looked like a giant compared to the 5’5 and 146-pounds Pacquiao. In the fight Garcia witnessed the much smaller Pacquiao brutalize Margarito for 12 rounds and even questioned if he should have stopped the fight which led to Margarito’s orbital being badly damaged.
In an interview with boxing reporter Elie Seckbach of ESNEWS, Garcia had nothing but praise for Pacquiao and even believed Pacquiao is just being a legend by trying to challenge Triple G for another weight division title.
“Look Pacquiao’s been champion at 154 so he has already moved up to 154 and became champion at one time if I’m not mistaken,” Garcia told ESNEWS. “Pacquiao wants to make history. He wants to be remembered as one of the best and I think he is 42 or 41? For him to make those type of fights that says a lot about him. He is willing to take chances. Others don’t want to take a chance to ruin their record. Pacquiao is willing to take that chance and he knows if he does get that fight it’s going to be a very, very risky fight but that is what a legend is all about. Legends are remembered for trying and making those decisions that the fans are going to appreciate years from now. He already is one of the best in history. He already has broken many records, especially the 8 divisions, and if he wants to challenge and go up to make it one more and make it the 9th against someone like Triple G, nothing but respect for that man.
Garcia offered up what type of strategy Pacquiao could implement going in against a heavy handed fighter like Golovkin.
“His speed man,” Garcia told ESNEWS on what attribute would work best for Pacquiao heading into a fight with Golovkin. “He’s very fast and does have really good footwork and you know in and out or maybe he would try to exchange and make it into a brawl or try to knock out Triple G. I think he just has to be fast and do a lot of in and out so he could step in land three or four punches and step out of the way because he is in for a very risky fight if he stands in front of Triple G. It’s not my call to say what gameplan he has to do. He has a great team, a great trainer behind him and he also is a very smart fighter so just try to fight smart, in and out and throw three, four, five punch combinations and frustrate Triple G with punching from all angles and body to head and head to body. Just make it difficult if possible. It’s very hard, very hard, but I think it’s not impossible for Manny Pacquiao.
Garcia however warned that the fight would very dangerous if Pacquiao doesn’t fight the perfect fight because Golovkin still has that devastating heavy one punch knockout power to fall back on anytime during the fight.
“It is very risky. It could end ugly too. Just like I’m saying he could throw five, six punch combinations and frustrate Triple G and it could also end pretty scary too, it could end ugly with Triple G landed one punch and hurting him really bad. All that is a possibility, it is very risky but like I told you, somebody who wants to be a legend, who wants to be remembered as the best has to take those chances.”