Mikey Garcia considers Manny Pacquiao the “ideal” opponent for his next fight.
The Filipino legend is closer in size to Garcia than any other elite welterweight Garcia could fight next. Pacquiao also owns the WBA 147-pound championship, which would grant Garcia an opportunity to become a five-weight world champion if they fought.
The 32-year-old Garcia is willing, however, to fight any top opponent in that division, including Shawn Porter. The rugged Porter wants to fight Pacquiao himself, but Garcia figures if Pacquiao winds up fighting Errol Spence Jr. or Danny Garcia, fans would want to see him oppose Porter.
“Shawn Porter would be a terrific fight [for me],” Garcia told Premier Boxing Champions’ Ray Flores during a recent interview posted to PBC’s YouTube channel. “You know, he stands and fights every, single time he gets in the ring. He’s in exciting fights every, single time. I think the fans would love a fight like that.”
The 32-year-old Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs), a former IBF and WBC welterweight champion, gave Spence the toughest fight of his career six months after Spence easily out-boxed Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs).
Garcia acknowledged his poor performance against Spence as part of the aforementioned interview, yet the Moreno Valley, California, resident’s recent win against Jessie Vargas encouraged the four-division champion to continue competing at the welterweight limit. The Oxnard, California, native knocked down Las Vegas’ Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) in the fifth round and beat him by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder February 29 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Garcia’s victory over Vargas came in Garcia’s first fight in the 11 months since Spence won every round against Garcia on all three scorecards (120-108, 120-108, 120-107). Las Vegas’ Porter hasn’t boxed since Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) edged him by split decision in their 12-round welterweight title unification match September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
If fights with Pacquiao and Porter aren’t available whenever the COVID-19 pandemic enables Al Haymon to make fights again, Garcia would welcome a shot at Keith Thurman. Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) beat Thurman by split decision to win the WBA welterweight title last July 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) topped Porter by unanimous decision in their June 2016 battle at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“Keith, same thing [as Porter],” Garcia said. “Keith is there to fight. You know, and he’s been a champion, a unified champion, and I think that would a terrific fight for the fans to watch. So, like I said, I’m open to fighting anybody.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.