By Keith Idec
Danny Garcia was surprised that Manny Pacquiao beat Keith Thurman last month.
Now that the 40-year-old Filipino legend has defeated a younger welterweight champion, Garcia hopes Pacquiao will fight him. The former WBC welterweight champion said during the most recent episode of “The PBC Podcast” that he’s ready to fight Pacquiao next.
“I mean, I thought I was gonna fight him this time,” Garcia said. “From what I knew, I thought I was supposed to fight him when he fought Thurman. But let’s see. Let’s see. Let’s see. I’m ready.”
A fight against the winner of the upcoming Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter welterweight championship unification match will be proposed to Pacquiao. If the favored Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) tops Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) on September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, has said he’d hesitate to sign off on Pacquiao opposing a big, strong, prime opponent like Spence.
That could create an opportunity for Garcia to fight Pacquiao, presumably in January, when the WBA welterweight champion will be available to fight next. Philadelphia’s Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) is confident he’d match up well with the smaller southpaw.
“You know, if you look at the past fighters he had trouble with – like [Juan Manuel] Marquez, [Erik] Morales – those guys are counter-punchers,” Garcia said. “And that’s one of my strengths in boxing. I’ve got that good power in both hands, I’m a good counter-puncher and I’ve got good timing. So, I think those are three things that’ll give Manny Pacquiao hell in his career. And those are three things I possess, so I definitely think that’s a great matchup for me.”
The 31-year-old Garcia thought Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC), who beat Garcia by split decision in March 2017, would be too much for Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs). It was Pacquiao, however, that dropped Thurman in the first round and won a split decision in their 12-rounder July 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“I knew Manny Pacquiao was a legend,” Garcia said. “I knew he was a legend. I always knew he could fight. But I didn’t think he was gonna win the fight. You know, I couldn’t see him beating a younger guy. Thurman’s a lot stronger than him. Thurman’s, you know, more fresher. But the legend proved everybody wrong, so he definitely looked good. He looked strong and definitely still – crazy to say – but still a top fighter.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.