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Mikey Garcia fighting for shot at Manny Pacquiao 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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If Mikey Garcia defeats Jessie Vargas next month he could be next in line to face Manny Pacquiao, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Garcia 39-1 (30) is set down to clash with Vargas 29-2-2 (11) at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas on February 29.

The fight will mark just his second outing at welterweight after being comprehensively outclassed in his last fight against Errol Spence Jr in March.

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The 32-year-old Garcia, who has won versions of the world title from 126 to 140-pounds, recently signed a deal with streaming giant DAZN to broadcast his next fight.

“When I first pitched the idea of DAZN to Mikey Garcia, not only did he think I was mad, he said ‘who am I going to fight?’,” said Hearn to SI Boxing with Chris Mannix.

“He would have to take that leap of faith with us to try and lure other fighters to the network, the platform. Now he’s given us that trust to say, ‘use me to bring other fighters to the platform’.

“So now you talk about Terence Crawford, you talk about Manny Pacquiao, you talk about Errol Spence, you talk about Danny Garcia.

“They’re all people, if they’re contractually available, that you can bring to DAZN to fight Mikey Garcia and it’s a mega-fight. First, he has got get passed Jessie Vargas, who is a friend of ours and DAZN.

“If Jessie wins, he’s the pawn that we can use to bring other fighters to the platform as well.

“People say what big fighters do you have. You have to say Mikey Garcia is. He’s probably top five in terms of American draws in boxing. So we got a really good guy there. DAZN is really happy. We now have a foot inside the 147-pound division that we didn’t have before.”

Despite Garcia losing every round against Spence Jr, Hearn says his intention is to continue to campaign at the higher weight.

“Mikey is a very stubborn guy. You tell him he can’t and that’s a major problem,” Hearn continued.

“He’s got a bee in his bonnet that people feel that it was a bad decision and that he shouldn’t have moved up to 147.

“He had problems in that fight in the build up to that fight which he told me about that you never tell other people about because you don’t want to make excuses, but it doesn’t mean he would have beaten Errol Spence.

“I just feel like he wants to prove that he can do it at 147. Jessie Vargas is actually a big welterweight. He was someone at 154, that was making his way to 154. Pacquiao is a smaller welterweight. I think Pacquiao vs Mikey Garcia is a great fight stylistically.

“If Mikey wins that fight then I’ll absolutely be trying to make the Manny Pacquiao fight. As a fan, I think that’s an amazing fight. If Mikey can get credibility and a solid victory at 147-pounds, that really makes that fight even bigger.”

Pacquiao 62-7-2 (39) became the first boxer in history to hold versions of the world title in four different decades when the clock ticked over to 2020.

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