Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao Reveals He’s “Leaning Towards” Mikey Garcia As Next Opponent

Pacquiao vs. Thurman Grand Arrival

Former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao has revealed that his next fight could take place against Mikey Garcia.

Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

A long-discussed fight between Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) and Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) seems to be on the verge of becoming a reality. 

Last week, the 33-year-old Garcia, a former four-division champion, made headlines when he revealed that the two sides “were getting very close to finalizing” a deal that would put him opposite Pacquiao, a former eight-division champion himself and a future Hall of Famer. 

“We’re finalizing all the details. We hope to get an exact date in the next few days, the location and everything. We’re trying to get everything done for May,” Garcia told Jo Ankier. “It’s been in the works for a long time, it’s been in the works for a few years. More detail in the last year, right before COVID happened. But now in the last few weeks, a month or so, we’ve been getting very close to finalizing this.

“I’m pretty excited. We’ll have all the details set in the next few days, a matter of time. So far it seems like all the parties are on board. I’m excited for it.”

Garcia suffered the only loss of his career when he moved up in weight to challenge unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence in March 2019. He bounced back by scoring a one-sided decision victory over Jessie Vargas in February 2020, however, and could now finally be in line to test himself against Pacquiao. 

The 42-year-old Filipino seems to be interested in the idea as well. Recently speaking on his future, Pacquiao said that he’s “leaning towards” selecting Garcia as his next opponent.

However, the fighting senator also mentioned that a bout against WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford remains possible. 

“We’re leaning towards Mikey Garcia, but we’re also talking to Crawford,” Pacquiao told Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN (transcribed by Boxing Scene). 

“It depends on who I get to face, what’s important is I’m ready. 

Although he’s nearing the end of his legendary career, Pacquiao is riding a three-fight winning streak. He hasn’t competed in nearly two years, though, as we last saw him scoring a split-decision victory over Keith Thurman in July 2019 to become the WBA (Super) Welterweight champion. Recently, “PacMan” was stripped of that title by the WBA and labeled as a“champion in recess” due to a lack of activity. 

In addition to Crawford, Pacquiao has also been called out by Spence and despite the fact that he no longer holds a belt, either of those matchups remain possible for Pacquiao given his name value. 

At this point, however, all signs seem to be pointing towards a long-awaited clash between Pacquiao and Garcia, which is an intriguing fight that makes sense for all parties involved. 

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