De La Hoya eyes Pacquiao-Garcia bout before end of 2021 or early next year

Published January 17, 2021, 4:00 PM

by Carlo Anolin

jeff horn manny pacquiao1
Manny Pacquiao (right) launches a counterattack against Jeff Horn. (AFP Photo / Patrick HAMILTON, File)

Boxing legend-turned-promoter Oscar De La Hoya is eyeing to book the much-hyped fight between American rising star Ryan Garcia and Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao before 2021 ends or by early next year.

Speaking in a sitdown interview with social media sensation Snow Queen, De La Hoya said Garcia’s chance to square off with Pacquiao would take him to a whole new level.

“I would make that in a heartbeat. I literally would make that fight,” added the founder of Golden Boy Promotions. “Well, maybe a couple of heartbeats. I would actually make that fight end of this year or early first quarter of the year. I love that fight for Ryan.”

De La Hoya believes that the 22-year-old boxing wunderkind is still a work in progress and said the longer the fights were moved on later dates, the more dangerous he’s going to get.

Garcia himself expressed strong desire to exchange blows with Pacquiao, that is after taking on WBA lightweight and super featherweight king Gervonta Davis first.

But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 47-year-old promoter is still mulling to take the necessary steps before setting up a superstar fight.

“A fight of that magnitude should be in front of 15,000 people. I think that fight (Garcia-Davis) should be in Las Vegas… this could be like the Super Bowl of boxing,” added De La Hoya.

Read: Garcia to Pacquiao: Pass the torch to me

Regardless, De La Hoya is firm that Garcia, the WBC interim lightweight titleholder, would make a bigger name for himself once he gets to fight Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion in boxing history.

“When you’re inside fighting with a legend, it’s kinda like changing of the guards,” said De La Hoya. “Y’know when I fought Floyd Mayweather and he beat me, Floyd Mayweather skyrocketed to superstardom. When Manny Pacquiao fought me and me, guess what, he skyrocketed to superstardom.

“This would be the same thing. It’s like the changing of the guards for Ryan Garcia and Manny Pacquiao.”

Garcia, who maintained a perfect 21-0 record with 18 knockouts after beating Luke Campbell in early January, also said the same thing with hints to challenge the Filipino boxer-turned-senator with his “pass that torch” remarks.

The 42-year-old Pacquiao, for his part, last saw action in the boxing ring with a split decision win against American Keith Thurman to capture the WBA super welterweight title and improve at 62-7-2 with 39 KOs.