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Mikey Garcia says deal to fight Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao 'very close'

American welterweight says fight against boxing's only eight-weight world champion could take place next summer

Manny Pacquiao, 40, secured a split decision over Keith Thurman in his last fight in July. Reuters
Manny Pacquiao, 40, secured a split decision over Keith Thurman in his last fight in July. Reuters

Mikey Garcia believes a deal to fight Manny Pacquiao next summer is “very close”.

The American, who last fought in a defeat to IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr by unanimous decision in March, has long been linked with a clash against Pacquiao, the reigning WBA belt-holder.

A sitting senator in the Philippines, Pacquiao is understood to be targeting a return to the ring in April. The Filipino, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, fought twice last year, earning decision victories against Adrien Broner and the undefeated Keith Thurman. The latter, in Las Vegas in July, was the second of his three-fight contract with Premier Boxing Champions.

Pacquiao is said to be considering Garcia and namesake Danny Garcia for his next bout. However the former, a four-division world champion, reckons he could be set to meet Pacquiao, who turns 41 on December 17, next summer.

“[Next year] will be huge. I expect a big, active year for me - two, three times,” Garcia, 31, told Fighthype. “And I really want to get a lot of action next year, and I want to get big fights. I want to get fights that people are excited for, and want to watch.

“We’ve been discussing a fight against Manny Pacquiao for a long time now, and it seems like it’s very close and it can actually happen. Nothing is secure. He has some political obligations right now. He’s still busy with that, but the last thing I heard, he’s interested in fighting in the early part of the summer. There’s still no opponent secured. That’s why I want to jump in and try and get that fight.”

Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) has been rumoured to fight Pacquiao (62-7-39 KOs) in the past, but the bout has never materialised. His inactivity since April has led some to suggest that his priorities lie away from the ring.

Errol Spence Jr, right, dominated Mikey Garcia over 12 rounds in their IBF world welterweight title fight in Dallas in March. AP Photo
Errol Spence Jr, right, dominated Mikey Garcia over 12 rounds in their IBF world welterweight title fight in Dallas in March. AP Photo

Asked where he thought a proposed fight would take place, Garcia said: “Wherever the fans can enjoy it the most. Most likely that fight lands in Vegas. Let’s be honest, we have most of our fans here. Not everyone is going to be able to make the trip out to Saudi Arabia or some exotic location.

“But I’m open to fighting anywhere else as well. There’s demand for the fight. Why not go to Mexico in Mexico City? You never know. Maybe we can do that. I’m excited for a fight like that, and a location can be chosen at a later point.”

Updated: December 11, 2019 10:41 AM

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