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Ryan Garcia vs Manny Pacquiao? ‘Huge’ name teased for next fight

Ryan Garcia is hinting at a “bigger” name than Gervonta Davis coming next.

Photos by Getty Images and Tim Warner/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

In an interview on “Jalen & Jacoby” on Tuesday, lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia talked about what his next fight might be, saying he still has eyes on Gervonta “Tank” Davis, but teasing that there may be something even bigger coming.

“I really do want to have that fight with Gervonta Davis, and I will knock him out in two rounds. That will happen. Mark my words. Gervonta Davis knows what’s gonna happen. It’s just time. Time will tell,” Garcia began.

“I also have — how would I say this? I have a potential huge, bigger fight than him. I might put him off to the side. I’m still gonna fight him. I wouldn’t not fight him unless it was an even bigger opportunity, but I cannot say anything right now, so I’m just gonna keep it that.”

Host David Jacoby then asked whether the opponent’s name rhymes with “Shmanny Shmacquiao,” with Garcia chuckling in response.

“I don’t know, guys. It’s up for imagination. Let’s all use our imagination here,” he said. “Manny’s a legend, though. Manny’s a person I’ve always looked up to. You can’t say anything bad about Manny. I wouldn’t even be mad in the ring with him. Even if he hit me, I don’t know how I would react. I would be just, like, ‘Yo, man, you hit me! I can’t believe this, yes! Hit me more!’ He’s been an inspiration to me and I’m just happy that, uh, yeah.”

Garcia (21-0, 18 KO) is a lightweight, and Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO) has been fighting as a welterweight since 2009, and we’re talking two divisions apart here. But of course Pacquiao has come up from flyweight over his career, and he remains a very small welterweight all in all, standing 5’5½” with a 67-inch reach, officially. Garcia is 5’10” with a 70-inch reach, and while dimensions alone don’t always tell the whole story — and never have with Pacquiao, who is big in the legs and hands for his size — it’s unlikely that Pacquiao would wind up with some distinct weight advantage on fight night or something like that, which is normally the issue that concerns people.

The idea is intriguing. Pacquiao is 42 years old, hasn’t fought since the summer of 2019 when he beat Keith Thurman, but he still looked really good, he is a top three welterweight in the sport behind only two of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound. He is nearly twice the 22-year-old Garcia’s age, but Pacquiao has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and still top-tier skills. It’s not like he’s never fought guys taller and longer than him or something like that.

Pacquiao has said most recently that he still wants a fight with Conor McGregor, and he’s been brought up as an option for top welterweights Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford. But if the money were there from Golden Boy and most importantly DAZN, Manny Pacquiao vs Ryan Garcia could absolutely be in play. Not saying it’s the fight Garcia is teasing, but there’s no reason to dismiss this as too insane to possibly happen.

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