Danny Garcia hopes Manny Pacquiao picks him as his opponent for his next fight.
Pacquiao hasn’t indicated who he’ll face when he returns to the ring either late in the spring or early in the summer. The Filipino legend could opt to box Errol Spence Jr. in what would be a bigger fight that’d earn the 41-year-old Pacquiao more money.
Spence said recently that he’ll come back around the same time Pacquiao is expected fight. The unbeaten IBF/WBC welterweight champion also stated that he doesn’t want a tune-up fight in his first appearance since suffering cuts to his face and dental damage during a one-car accident October 10 in Dallas.
Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) would welcome a showdown with Spence, too, but the former WBC welterweight champion told BoxingScene.com recently that it “would be a dream come true” to face Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
“In order to become a legend, you’ve gotta beat the legend,” Garcia said. “You know, Manny Pacquiao’s had an incredible career. Being 40 years old and beating a prime Thurman, he’s had an incredible career. He’s somebody definitely all the boxers should look up to. And for me to get the opportunity to fight him, you know, you’ve gotta beat the legend to be the legend. And that’s how I look at it.”
Philadelphia’s Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) is preparing to face a lesser southpaw, Ivan Redkach, on January 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Assuming the heavily favored Garcia defeats Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) in a fight Showtime will televise, Garcia wants an opportunity to do what his rival, Keith Thurman, couldn’t accomplish July 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“That’s a big win,” Garcia said of Pacquiao’s split-decision defeat of Thurman. “He’s definitely a Hall-of-Famer. I just don’t know what he has left to prove, if you really think about it. Probably the money – that’s about it. But he’s a legend. He’s done it all, and he’s still here. So, someone has to get him out of there to get him to retire.”
Garcia, 31, wasn’t taken aback when Pacquiao beat Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) to win the WBA welterweight title. Pacquiao knocked down Thurman, who’s 10 years younger, during the first round and beat him on two scorecards (115-112, 115-112, 113-114).
“I wasn’t surprised because stylistically, it’s a good style for Pacquiao,” Garcia said. “It’s kind of like when he fought Cotto. Cotto’s the same type of fighter, uses lateral movement. And Pacquiao’s good at cutting the ring off, and he throws shorter punches. I knew that would be a difference. I knew whoever won the fight, it would be by split decision. And that’s what happened.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.