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Manny Pacquiao next fight: Mikey Garcia says bout being finalized, May target date

Will Mikey finally get the Manny fight he’s wanted for years?

Tom Pennington and Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Former four-division titleholder Mikey Garcia says he’s close to making a deal with former eight-division titleholder and living legend Manny Pacquiao for a fight this spring, a bout that has been rumored many times in the last few years.

“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, who has wanted the fight and campaigned for it for years, continued: “It’s a great fight. I think it’s great for my career and for the fans. I think it’s very exciting for boxing in general to see this type of fight. It’s been rumored for many years, a year ago we were almost ready to do this. It seems like things are back on track.

“Just to share the ring with a living legend like Manny, it does amazing things for my career and I just really hope the fans appreciate this, because it’s not very often you see two of the greatest fighters face each other, and right now that’s what I’m about to do, I’m about to face a legend.”

Garcia (40-1, 30 KO) moved up to welterweight in 2019, having never fought above 140 before, and only fighting at that weight once. The results have not been great, but not all bad, either. He was completely dominated by Errol Spence Jr in 2019, but came back 11 months later and did beat Jessie Vargas, though it was a close, competitive fight. For what it’s worth, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO) beat Vargas pretty handily back in 2016.

Pacquiao-Garcia, though, will generate some interest. Manny’s Manny, still probably the biggest active global name in the sport, and still fighting very well at his age. And Garcia is a Mexican-American, a quality fighter, only has the one loss.

Doing it in May might be tough, though. We’ve already got Canelo-Saunders May 8 on DAZN, plus Ramirez-Taylor May 22 on ESPN. That leaves May 1, May 15, and May 29 for Saturday nights, so there are options, and I’m all for a hugely packed month of fights, believe me, but there could also be some PPV fatigue by then, too — Triller has said they’re hoping to get Lopez-Kambosos in in May, and let’s not forget the rumored FOX PBC PPV blockbuster between Andy Ruiz Jr and Chris Arreola on April 24.

Anyway, we’ll see. This isn’t the first time Manny Pacquiao vs Mikey Garcia has apparently been close, and let’s not count out the Bud Crawford rumors for Manny just yet, either.

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