Sources confirm Pacman to come out of inactivity and slug it out with Garcia in about 10 weeks | Inquirer Sports
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Sources confirm Pacman to come out of inactivity and slug it out with Garcia in about 10 weeks

/ 05:20 AM May 06, 2021
MIKEY GARCIA BOXING

Mikey Garcia beams after beating Jessie Vargas in a WBC welterweight bout in February 2020. AFP

Manny Pacquiao, who hasn’t fought in almost two years and may call it quits altogether after a few more fights, is locked in for a legacy fight against American Mikey Garcia in the last week of July.

That is according to a Team Pacquiao insider who told the Inquirer that the fight is “10 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 as most likely.”

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The same source said an official announcement is underway for the fight that will have to make do with world-wide restrictions posed by the coronavirus pandemic

Pacquiao’s business manager, Jayke Joson, refused to either confirm or deny the reports, saying it’s all up to the prospective promoter to tell.

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“I don’t know. Officially, the Paradigm Sports Management headed by Mr. Audie Attar should answer that and maybe give its official announcement,” Joson told the Inquirer.

Dubai and the United States are among the possible venues for the 42-year-old boxing legend’s much awaited return to the ring since July of 2019.

Last fight?

It is seen a possible swan song for boxing’s only remaining global superstar, who is also reportedly contemplating on running in the Philippine Presidential elections next year.Pacquiao went public recently and was quoted by international websites regarding the advancement of his fight negotiations with Garcia.

Several websites also insinuated his eventual retirement from boxing after this fight for a full-time career in politics.

“We won’t answer that for now, because that is part of the negotiations. That will be included in the announcement,” Pacquiao was quoted by nationalnews.com as saying.

But worldboxingnews.net said Pacquiao’s enrolment with antidoping body Vada could only mean an extension of his career. It also wrote a possible follow-up fight before the year ends.

Four division champ Garcia, a rangy puncher who peaked at featherweight, poses as a decent threat to Pacquiao with his 40-1-0 and 30 knockouts record.

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First blue-chip foe

But the 33-year-old Garcia hasn’t fought a top caliber opponent like Pacquiao, whose superb split decision victory over Keith Thurman showed how little he has declined despite his age.

At 62-7-2 (39 KOs), Pacquiao is the sport’s only eight-division champion. He is declared by World Boxing Association a welterweight “champion in recess” because of his inactivity due to the pandemic.

Garcia has not fought either since beating Jessie Vargas in February last year.

Up until last month, Pacquiao is lined up against World Boxing Organization champ and top pound-for-pound fighter Terence Crawford, but talks fell through after the American didn’t sign on the dotted line.

Paradigm also handles mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor, who was also being pitted against Pacquiao since early last year.

But the Irishman’s stunning loss to Dustin Poirier last January dashed the viability of a crossover match with the Filipino superstar.

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TAGS: Boxing, Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia
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