Up and coming American lightweight Ryan Garcia said on Instagram Saturday that he wants to get in the ring with Philippine icon Manny Pacquiao in an official bout.
With Yahoo among the outlets reporting such a fight is in the works, Garcia said he wanted to make it absolutely clear that it wouldn’t be an exhibition.
“Hey everybody, I just want to make it real clear: My fight with Pacquiao would not be an exhibition,” Garcia said in a video posted on his Instagram story.
“It will be a real fight, shooting for 12 rounds, all on the line. Our records will be on the line. I just want to make that very clear for everybody.”
One stumbling block could be the weight class, with 42-year-old Pacquiao long fighting at welterweight.
The 22-year-old Garcia survived an early knockdown to stop Luke Campbell in the seventh round earlier this month in Dallas to claim the interim World Boxing Council lightweight title.
He improved to 21-0 with 18 wins inside the distance.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, hasn’t fought since claiming the World Boxing Association’s welterweight “super” world title with a stunning victory over Keith Thurman in Las Vegas in July of 2019, taking his record to 62-7 with two drawn and 39 knockouts.
On Friday, the WBA said it was designating Pacquiao “Champion in Recess” and promoting Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas to welterweight world champion because of Pacquiao’s inactivity.
The WBA noted that its rules state that the recess can be invoked “when a champion is unable to defend the belt for medical, legal or other reasons beyond his control.”
The governing body didn’t specify which of those reasons might apply in Pacquiao’s case.