Mikey Garcia, Spence top Pacquiao's wish list
Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia
AFP photos

Mikey Garcia, Spence top Pacquiao's wish list

Dino Maragay (Philstar.com) - March 4, 2020 - 2:10pm

MANILA, Philippines – Two boxers are on top of Manny Pacquiao’s mind for his planned ring return in the second half of the year, and they have contrasting styles.

In an interview with ANC’s Game Time, Pacquiao said he is looking at fighting either Mikey Garcia or Errol Spence when he comes back to the ring in July.

The Filipino icon hasn’t seen action since outpointing Keith Thurman in July last year, and because he is still a big name in the welterweight division, there is no shortage of opponents.

"There's a lot of possible opponents like Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence or (Terence) Crawford, and also there [are] boxer[s] from Canada and Mexico who want to fight with me," Pacquiao said.

Crawford, the WBO welterweight champion, belongs to the stable of Top Rank, which used to promote Pacquiao. But that is no longer the case, making a Pacquiao-Crawford showdown less likely to happen soon.

Pacquiao thus has narrowed down his choices.

"That's Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia,” he added.

The 30-year-old Spence, undefeated in 26 bouts (with 21 knockouts), holds the WBC and IBF welterweight belts. With Pacquiao as the reigning WBA “super” champion in the same division, a unification fight with Spence will be massive.

It will also be riskier for the 40-year-old Pacquiao, whose style is more suitable against come-forward sluggers than those who employ sound boxing skills like Spence.

"My assessment is Spence is the kind of boxer who can move, slug. If we're going to fight I need to focus on strategy, hand speed, footwork," Pacquiao explained.

Enter Garcia, whose style is the polar opposite of Spence’s.

"Garcia has a different style than Errol Spence. Mikey Garcia is a brawler, aggressive. He's got different techniques also, so we need to practice and apply on that fight," Pacquiao continued.

Interestingly, Spence dominated Garcia when they fought in March last year. The latter has rebounded with a victory over Jessie Vargas — a previous Pacquiao victim — just last Sunday, calling out Pacquiao afterwards.

Garcia once again has Spence standing in his way — this time in the race to secure a megabuck payday against Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, as expected, will have the final say.

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