Exhibition or not, Garcia eyes knockout win over Pacquiao

Published January 30, 2021, 7:52 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Ryan Garcia stands in his corner before the WBC Interim Lightweight Title fight against Luke Campbell at American Airlines Center on January 02, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. Tim Warner/Getty Images/AFP

Whether it will be an exhibition match or not, American rising star Ryan Garcia vowed to knock out Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao in the ring.

Garcia just couldn’t let go of the chance to face his boxing idol, a fight that he labeled a “dream turned reality” which triggered a buzz among fans.

“One of your heroes, one of the people you admire the most and they tell you that you have a chance to face him, I said let’s go for it 100 percent,” Garcia told ESPN Deportes.

Garcia’s father, Henry, recently said the Pacquiao-Garcia clash may be staged as an exhibition match.

Though not disclosing other details, the younger Garcia reiterated his goal to take the “torch” from Pacquiao and that the fight is set to “break records.”

“But I can say this, you have two people in the ring with eight or 10-ounce gloves, no head protection, tell me if that would be an exhibition or a real one. We are two real fighters. I’m not going to throw lies, and neither is he. You can call it what you want, but it will be a fight. I will throw blows as if I wanted to knock out Pacquiao,” added the undefeated Garcia, who has 21 wins with 18 knockouts.

The 22-year-old Garcia, who captured the WBC interim lightweight title after stunning  Luke Campbell, said he is willing to adjust to Pacquiao’s weight option.

Pacquiao, 42, who fights in the welterweight, was stripped of his WBA super welterweight belt Saturday and was named “champion in recess” by the sanctioning body due to inactivity. 

The boxer-turned-senator has not fought since beating American Keith Thurman via split decision last July 2019 en route to the title.

An ambitious Garcia said beating Davis and Pacquiao in the same year would be the “perfect 2021” for him.

“I can’t wait to see what happens, it will be beautiful and I’m excited,” added the California-native boxer. (