It seems like Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao will likely face undersized welterweight Mikey Garcia in July of 2020.
What good is it for the Filipino WBA welterweight champion’s legacy if he avoids the other champions in the division? Either vacate the title or fight the monsters in the division.
Pacquiao went on a Philippine news station and said the two opponents he is considering for his next title defense is either former lightweight champion Mikey Garcia or unified IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr..
We all know Pacquiao had his opportunity to fight Spence and chose not to fight him to fight Keith Thurman coming off a bad performance versus Josesito Lopez instead.
It was a calculated move by Pacquiao and his team. He went to Cowboys stadium to root for Mikey Garcia to win but Errol Spence Jr. outboxed him easily and shut Mikey out.
After the fight Spence called Manny to the ring and challenged him and they both shook hands.
I don’t blame Pacquiao if he fights Mikey Garcia next, the man is 41 and already past his best years, if he fights someone like Spence or Shawn Porter or Terence Crawford it would be too dangerous for him. But if he wants to continue being a champion he has to fight the best even at his age.
Bernard Hopkins fought the best well into his 40s, so there is really no excuse for Pacquiao not to challenge the young lions if he truly thinks he is still capable.
If Pacquiao vs. Garcia happens it will have to be in middle east because nobody is going to bother paying for that fight in the USA.
Pacquiao is no longer a drawing attraction in the US and his Pay-Per-View buys have averaged anywhere from 200 to 500k buys which are decent but a long fall from the 800,000 to 1 million ppv buys he used to draw when he attached his name to Floyd Mayweather Jr..
When Pacquiao finally fought Mayweather in 2015, he got humiliated in the ring and fans who rooted for him were left disgusted by his excuse of having a shoulder injury before the fight.
If Pacquiao fights Mikey Garcia it does nothing for his legacy, he is just looking for an easy payday and that is why I strongly believe he will take Eddie Hearn’s offer and face Garcia in Saudi Arabia, because they will pay big money for a fight that nobody is really interested.
It will likely be a tourist luring attraction to gain more fans to travel there just like when WWE hosted an event in Saudi Arabia featuring Tyson Fury, and the recent Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz heavyweight championship rematch – these events help tourism.
If Pacquiao doesn’t vacate the WBA title he should not hold it hostage anymore and try to unify with WBO champion Terence Crawford and IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr. because boxing fans are not going to pay for him fighting opponents who aren’t deserving of a title shot.
If he cares about his legacy he will fight the most challenging opponents out there and prove he is a true champion even in his 40s.