An Early Take on Manny Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia – Do Fans Want this Fight?
Manny Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia could be happening soon. That’s despite recent news of a Pacquiao vs. Conor McGregor money-spinning super-fight going down as soon as early 2021.
Garcia is the latest in a long line of boxers who have been vocal on a clash with the 41-year-old WBA (Super) welterweight champion. It seems the demand for Pacquiao is more than the supply right now, but Garcia is confident that he can skip the likes of McGregor, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, and namesake Danny Garcia to the front of the line.
As of right now, there is no date or location set for this fight. Nor has any credible information been released regarding a matchup between the Filipino ring icon and the four-weight world champion. But according to Mikey, it’s “100 percent” certain to happen.
Are you betting on Pacquaio vs. Garcia? Do you have an interest in this fight? Well, I think it will be fun to put together an early betting preview for a potential Manny Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia bout anyway.
Join me as I look over the particulars for what could be a big night for boxing’s welterweight division.
Early Pacquiao vs. Garcia Odds Analysis
The odds circulating right now indicate that there is little between Pacquiao and Garcia.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) might be skating towards his 42nd birthday in December, but he is still fighting at an elite level. I predict that his odds will come down a little, given further betting confidence in his chances when the bout is made. Bettors will show more faith to Pacquiao on account of his impressive win over Keith Thurman in July 2019.
That win earned him his WBA (Super) welterweight strap six months after beating Adrien Broner. Before Broner, Pacquiao earned his first stoppage win in almost ten years over Lucas Matthysse. He is 8-2 from his last ten fights, with a controversial loss to Jeff Horn in 2017, as well as a one-sided defeat to Floyd Mayweather.
Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) will undoubtedly have his supporters. But I’m not sure the current odds will convince many punters to back him. He will have his supporters, sure, but I doubt there will be many putting money down with online boxing betting sportsbooks that come from the casual fanbase.
Although the 32-year-old has almost nine years on “PacMan” to the day, the Thurman fight showed what he is still capable of. And don’t forget that Thurman is a big, strong, power puncher while Garcia’s place at 147-pounds is still yet to be merited. Errol Spence dominated him for the second half of their fight in March 2019, but he did show encouraging signs in his win over Jessie Vargas in February 2020.
What’s at Stake?
- Pacquiao’s WBA (Super) Welterweight Title
- Garcia’s Reputation/Future at 147
- Pacquiao’s Future in the Sport
Should this fight happen next for both men, Pacquaio’s title will be on the line.
Let’s say Pacquiao wins. If he does, then he can push for a fight with one of the other titleholders at welterweight, providing the WBA does not intervene with any plans by nominating a mandatory challenger.
As it stands, Errol Spence Jr. holds the WBC and IBF welterweight titles. Terence Crawford is the WBO champion of the weight class. Given both men are looking to unify the division, it seems highly likely that one of them will get to face Pacquiao, should he beat Garcia. And, of course, should both men come through their next fights with wins.
Of course, Garcia will also be the reckoning for a shot if he beats Pacquiao. More than this, his reputation will surge among fans of the sport. This will be felt higher in the casual community, given Pacquiao’s standing in the game.
A loss for Pacquiao would more than likely see him face calls for retirement. Without a title to his name, it would be difficult to find many reasons for sticking around in the sport. Perhaps he would get a few big offers — including but not limited to Spence and Crawford — with a possibility of one last mega-money bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the table.
A loss for Garcia would make him 1-2 at 147-pounds. At that point, he will be pressured into questioning his future in the weight class. At the very least, his profile as an elite-level fighter will suffer great damage.
Are the Fans Into it?
Pacquiao’s resurgence over the past couple of years had not escaped the attention of boxing fans.
Some had written him off following that contentious loss to Jeff Horn in 2017, but he bounced back with three convincing wins and is looking pretty good for his age. It’s obvious what a monumental icon he is in his home country, but there is still a major demand to watch him fight across the globe.
Is the old Manny back? Well, he certainly looked exciting against Thurman. And the circa 500,000 pay-per-view buys in America alone prove that fans are still keen on paying to watch him fight.
Whether fans’ ability to shelve out around $74.99 for a PPV will be affected by the current global situation is unknown. But I would be surprised if a Pacquiao vs. Garcia fight doesn’t hit somewhere close to the same number of sales.
By comparison to Pacquiao vs. Thurman, Garcia’s fight with Spence generated 360,000 pay-per-view buys. A solid number that reflects well on him. However, Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan’s numbers were not as good. Some sources had PPV sales as low as 75,000. That’s much shorter than a projected figure of 400,000 that was being floated.
As you can see, Pacquiao’s draw is still there. His participation should be enough to garner interest. But as I see it, there are much worse fights to make for both men in this division.
Likely Date and Location
If your plan is to bet on Manny Pacquiao vs. Conor McGregor, Garcia’s insistence that this fight happens next might be something to think about.
But let’s be real here. No contracts have been signed between Pacquaio and Garcia. That means no date has been set, and no location has been booked. So, all we have, really, is his word.
Imagine you’re Manny Pacquiao. If you’re forced to choose for a fight between one of the biggest names in combat sports — someone who comes with a surefire guarantee to generate millions of pay-per-view buys alone — or a guy without a big profile or a title, like Garcia, who do you go for?
Come on, it’s simple. Pacquaio is a guy approaching the end of his career who also allegedly has a few financial loose knots to tie up. He’s going to pick McGregor first if it’s all about money. But will McGregor risk his ability to draw big numbers by being knocked out cold by Pacquiao?
So, let’s change direction and assume Garcia gets his man. In terms of a location for a fight between these two? Well, things are kind of up in the air at the moment. Further travel restrictions and lockdowns could prevent spectators. But the fight can happen behind closed doors.
Either way, Garcia has said the fight will happen in 2021. It’s probably a little too early to speculate when or where.
Early Prediction for Pacquiao vs. Garcia
I always prefer to take an extended look at a fight like this. Breaking things down piece by piece is a better way to approach how a fight could go and allows for a more balanced prediction.
What I will say right now is that I am not 100% committed to either guy at this point. Pacquaio clearly has advantages over Garcia, while Garcia has advantages over Pacquiao.
Most notably, the speed of Pacquiao is something that his opponent will find hard to deal with. The ring legend is regarded for the volume and speed of his shots, as well as his ability to bounce in and out of range with ease. But another problem he brings to the table is that he comes out of the traps a lot faster than Garcia.
Garcia is a patient, intelligent fighter that looks to chip away at his opponents. The one thing he will struggle with is establishing range early on. Furthermore, setting himself into the right positions against a guy that thrives on breaking the rhythm of his opponents and preventing them from doing just that will be a challenge.
As for everything else, well, I’ll cover that — as well as the odds and best bets for Pacquiao vs. Garcia — in a dedicated fight preview when the bout is announced.