As Mikey Garcia continues his hunt for a Manny Pacquiao showdown, his brother and trainer Robert Garcia cannot help but think that there is something illusory about this pursuit.
“It’s a possibility that he could be wasting his time because honestly Pacquiao is also turning 42 [this] month,” Robert Garcia said on the PBC Podcast. “So Pacquiao may just consider getting easier fights against MMA/UFC guys, like they’ve talked about with (Floyd) Mayweather did and make just tons of money and not take any chances. You never know what Pacquiao might do. If it doesn’t happen, Mikey has to think of something else. We have to plan other stuff.”
Mikey (40-1, 30 KOs) has publicly expressed his desire for a Pacquiao fight for well over a year and was considered a frontrunner of sorts, but the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year has complicated those discussions, along with seemingly every other major matchup in the industry. According to Robert, he has received no indication from Mikey that Pacquiao negotiations are headed in the right direction, if headed anywhere at all, or for any other fight, for that matter.
“If the pandemic continues the way it is and they start shutting down everything down again we might have to do something smaller (fight) than big,” Robert said. “As of right now, there’s nothing really. There’s nothing lined up. There’s not even any talk (about any other fight). Pacquiao, that’s the only one…we haven’t really heard much.”
If it was up to Robert, he would have his younger brother take a tune-up. But Mikey, who has won titles in four divisions, apparently has no interest in that.
“For a reason I don’t know why, Mikey just decides that he doesn’t want to get in the ring unless it’s for a big fight,” Robert said.
Robert mainly fears that Mikey, whose last fight was a decision over Jessie Vargas in February, may get stagnant with the inactivity. He pointed out how other elite talent in the sport were still fighting during the pandemic, albeit in much lower-level fights.
“Honestly, there’s world champions (out there), like (former featherweight titleholder and current junior lightweight contender) Shakur Stevenson (who are taking tune-ups),” Robert continued. “Yeah, maybe he’s still not been in those big fights and had those big million dollar paydays but he’s fighting (during the pandemic) without defending his title.
“I think (122-pound titleholder Emmanuel) Navarrete did the same thing. They come in and they just get a 10-round fight and they get paid well, obviously a lot less than defending the titles. That’s one thing we talked (to Mikey about), looks, there are world champions doing it, taking 10 round fights against lesser opponents obviously, but they’re staying active and keeping their body going and not doing nothing at all.”
Robert still believes, barring the possibility of a Pacquiao fight, which would be at welterweight, that Mikey should resume his career at the 140-pound limit, a division that is likely to be teeming with big names.
“I still think 140 is where Mikey should be fighting especially with so much talent at 135. Sooner than later they’re all going to be at 140, too,” Robert said. “From Teofimo Lopez to Devin Haney to Ryan Garcia. Even (Gervonta) Tank Davis. I’m sure all of them are going to go up to 140 and those would be huge fights for Mikey. If Mikey is to secure the Pacquiao fight, well, obviously we’ll go after the Pacquiao fight but even after that win or lose 140 should be the best division for Mikey.”