Pacquiao-Garcia deal very close, but there’s a catch

Published January 27, 2021, 7:12 PM

by Carlo Anolin

The much-hyped fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ryan Garcia might be staged as an exhibition match, Ryan’s father Henry Garcia said Wednesday.

In a report by Sky Sports’ boxing journalist James Dielhenn, the older Garcia said Pacquiao’s WBA super welterweight title won’t be at stake, adding that it would be a “real fight” for a 10-rounder boxing match.

“It’s not bizarre, it’s just two people who want to fight each other; Ryan’s fighting a legend and Pacquiao’s fighting a rising star, so it’s not awkward at all,” said Henry. “What I do know is both fighters want to fight each other and it’s going to be for real – it’s going to be a real fight.”

This was the latest development since the 22-year-old Garcia, who holds the WBC interim lightweight belt, earlier announced that he’ll be taking on Pacquiao in a super fight, considering it as a “dream turned reality.”

Pacquiao’s camp, through special assistant Jayke Joson, denies the claim and said Garcia has yet to prove himself as a worthy challenger for the eight-division world champion. 

Joson added that boxer-turned-senator is focusing on helping Filipinos deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Henry, however, said both camps have agreed to proceed with the match but full details are still under negotiation.

“Everybody has agreed, all there is left are the details. But both parties have already agreed; promoters have agreed, sanctioning bodies have agreed, so we’re very close to sealing the deal,” added Henry. “We’re going to know this week if everything goes through, we’re negotiating today, they are already in discussion.”

Ryan recently maintained a perfect 21-0 record with 18 knockouts after stunning Luke Campbell in early January for the WBC interim lightweight championship.

Pacquiao, 42, for his part has not fought since beating American Keith Turman in a split decision victory in July 2019 to capture the WBA super welterweight title and improve at 62-7-2 with 39 KOs.