Ryan Garcia is currently riding high after his breakthrough victory over Luke Campbell earlier this month. Yet, with a number of lucrative options available at 135lbs, Garcia has said a clash with Manny Pacquiao remains his ultimate goal.
After rising from the canvas 11 days ago, a seventh-round body shot KO of Campbell cemented the Californian’s claims as an emerging force in the lightweight division and, in theory, clinched a tilt at WBC title-holder Devin Haney.
The popular Garcia has since expressed a preference for a clash with WBA Regular champion Gervonta Davis, with the duo hyping that potential encounter on social media and during a Facetime meeting on Mike Tyson’s Hotboxin’ podcast.
But for Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) the dream fight remains a showdown with WBA Super 147lbs champion Manny Pacquiao. The Filipino legend is winding down his career before a permanent move into his nation’s political arena and seemingly edging towards a lucrative bout with UFC star Conor McGregor.
Pacquiao may be 42, but his pulling and punching power remain undiminished. Two division’s separate them, but size wise, at least, the duo match up with the youthful Garcia touching 5ft 10ins and Pacquiao the shorter man and a diminutive 147-pounder at the best of times.
“That’s the dream. Manny is a legend and it would be like surpassing him in the humblest way,” Garcia, 22, told ES News.
“I don’t want this to sound like I’m being disrespectful, Manny knows my respect for him. People love him because he fights with his heart.
“You don’t even have to tell people to respect him because more than one entire country supports him.”
That bout might seem fanciful to some, but Garcia’s undoubtable marketability may hold some intrigue for eight-division champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) in the closing stages of his incredible career.
Photos: Garca (Golden Boy Promotions), Pacquiao (PBC/Fox Sports)