Manny Pacquiao versus Mikey Garcia could land in Saudi Arabia in 2020

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Big money from Saudi Arabia could deliver an enticing welterweight title clash between Manny Pacquiao 62-7-2 (39) and Mikey Garcia 39-1 (30).

Promoter Eddie Hearn, who recently signed Garcia to digital streaming network DAZN, held his first fight in Saudi Arabia earlier this month when Anthony Joshua regained his unified heavyweight championship with a 12-round revenge win over Any Ruiz Jr.

“The Saudis are the ones that put the money up, and they’re the ones that put their trust in us. We’re looking to deliver two events in Saudi in 2020,” Hearn said.

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“They [Saudis] want that fight [Pacquiao vs Garcia]. They want the biggest of the biggest, and if you can get it, they’ve got the money for it.

“That’s what’s exciting about Saudi. You know if I’m going to do two shows in Saudi, they’re going to be f**king monsters.”

The 32-year-old Garcia said he would be interested in fighting Pacquiao following the 41-year-old Filipino southpaw’s thrilling win over previously undefeated Keith Thurman in July.

“Yes, that does change my mind, and it does really excite me, and interests me a lot,” Garcia said to Fighthype.

“He really did turn the clock back 10-plus years. He looked terrific against Keith. There has been some recent conversations for a fight between me and Manny. I would love to fight Manny. We’ll see. Maybe 2020 is the year that we’ll get in the ring together.

Garcia, who lost his welterweight debut to Errol Spence Jr in March, said he has no immediate plans to return to the lightweight division.

“I think a fight with Regis [Prograis] would be a great fight. I’m not looking at 135 at all right now. Maybe if I come down to 140 first, and I feel like I can come down to 135 possibly. But I’m not looking at 135. If it were at 140, and [Vasiliy Lomachenko] was willing to come up, I would love a fight with him,” said Garcia.

“I haven’t heard anything from him or his promoter reaching out to me for a fight like that. It doesn’t seem like Mikey Garcia fits his agenda. I’m looking at other names, and other opponents. If our paths happen to cross in the future, then that would be the fight.”

Next up for Garcia is a fight against former world champion Jessie Vargas 29-2-2 (11) at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas on February 29.

“You can expect fireworks,” Garcia said. “His only two losses were Manny Pacquiao, a living legend, and Tim Bradley, a future Hall of Famer. That tells you, and that speaks a lot. That’s why I figure this is a great fight. I’m sure he wants to win over me, because that’ll put him in line for something huge.”


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