The on-again, off-again fight between Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao appears to be headed full steam ahead toward an official announcement.
If you ask Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs), he’s apparently in the driver’s seat to fight the Filipino legend and eight-division champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
“We’re finalizing all of the details. We hope to get the exact date and location in the next few days. We’re trying to get everything done for May,” Garcia told journalist Jo Ankier in a spontaneous chat in a vehicle moments after Canelo Alvarez’s win over Avni Yildirim on Saturday.
“It’s been in the works for a long time, particularly more in detail in the last year. Now, in the last few weeks, we’ve been getting very close to working on this and finalizing it. I’m pretty excited. We’ll have all of the details set in the next few days. It’s a matter of time. So far, it seems like all of the parties are on board. I’m excited for it.”
Garcia has long been a leading candidate to fight Pacquiao. In recent weeks, Ryan Garcia surfaced as a challenger for Pacquiao as well, but the rising star admitted over the weekend that the ship had sailed on a potential fight.
Both fighters have also released footage of themselves recently training.
The four-division champion Garcia, 33, sounded gung-ho about his upcoming clash with Pacquiao, 42.
“It’s a great fight. I think it’s great for my career, and for the fans. It’s very exciting for boxing in general to see this type of fight,” said Garcia. “We’ve been working on this for years. We were almost ready for this before COVID-19 happened. Now it seems like things are back on track. Now, to share the ring with a living legend like Manny does amazing things for my career. I just hope that the fans appreciate this. It’s not very often that you see two of the greatest fighters face each other. Right now, that’s what we’re about to do. I’m about to face a legend.”
A location in the Middle East has long been a frontrunner to pay a handsome site fee to stage the event. If the date ends up being in May like Garcia alludes to, finding a viable Saturday without competition could be problematic.
Alvarez is set to face Billy Joe Saunders on May 8 on DAZN, while the four-belt unification bout between super lightweights Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor is slated for ESPN on May 22.
That would leave May 1 and May 15 as two possible dates without major competing events. Saturday, May 29 is part of Memorial Day weekend, a holiday often avoided by promoters.
Triller owner Ryan Kavanaugh told BoxingScene.com last week that he plans on staging Teofimo Lopez Jr. versus George Kambosos Jr. in May as well.
Pacquiao and Garcia both have ties to FOX Sports and Showtime, and a pay per view event would most likely be staged on one of the platforms.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com