October 23, 2021

Ryan Garcia: Exhibition or Not – I’ll Be Trying To Knock Pacquiao Out

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WBC interim-lightweight champion Ryan Garcia is very excited about the possibility of a showdown with one of his heroes, eight division champion Manny Pacquiao.

There are ongoing discussions to have the two boxers face each other.

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At the moment, there is no final word on whether or not the contest will be a sanctioned fight, the agreed-upon weight or much of anything else.

“My heart was set on Gervonta Davis and I was focused on that. But suddenly you get a call and they say, ‘You can fight Manny Pacquiao.’ What are you going to say to that?,” said Garcia to ESPN Deportes. “One of your heroes, one of the people you admire the most and they tell you that you have a chance to face him, I said let’s go for it one hundred percent.

“I can’t say anything about [what the rules will be], but it’s the same question everyone has – will it be an exhibition or will it be a real fight? But I can say this, you have two people in the ring with eight or ten ounce gloves, no head protection… tell me if that would be an exhibition or a real [fight]. We are two real fighters. I’m not going to throw lies, and neither is he. You can call it what you want, but it will be a fight. I will throw punches as if I want to knock out Pacquiao.”

Pacquiao has been out of the ring since July 2019, when he won a twelve round split decision over Keith Thurman to capture the WBA welterweight title.

Because of his inactivity, Pacquiao was removed from his championship position by the WBA.

Garcia is located two weight divisions down, at 135-pounds.

“[The weight issue], it can be fixed very easily, I am willing to do what has to be done. Whatever Manny wants in weight, I’ll do it. I’m a big fighter, I’m not a little 135-pounder. I’m big, so if I have to move up [to welterweight] – I’ll do it,” Garcia said.

The young Garcia, just 22-years-old, is 20 years younger than the 42-year-old Pacquiao.

In 2008, when Ryan was just 10 years old, Pacquiao beat down and retired Oscar De La Hoya, who is now Garcia’s promoter under Golden Boy Promotions.

In that fight, it was Pacquiao who moved up from 135 to 147 to accept the fight with De La Hoya.

“I was very young, but I remember [Pacquiao] beating my other hero, Oscar De La Hoya, I remember watching and saying, ‘Oscar throw some punches please!’ I became a Manny fan there. When he also knocked out Ricky Hatton with one punch. He was beating everyone at the time, Miguel Cotto, everyone.”