Garcia vs. Garcia

Peter Cariño

Peter Cariño

If I am not mistaken, American promoter Bob Arum floated the idea of pitting Manny Pacquiao against up-and-coming junior lightweight Mikey Garcia, who remains undefeated and has a perfect record of 34-0 with 28 knockouts.

But I won’t be one of those who will even write about a possible match up between Garcia and Pacquiao, because that won’t happen in the next two years or so, because a good 17 pounds separate them from their respective weight classes. And even if Garcia would be guaranteed to earn at least $10 million to put on between 15 to 17 pounds to meet Pacquiao, that will still be suicidal on the part of Garcia, because he has yet to taste a punch of a real welterweight (147 pounds).

Also, Garcia has been hyped up somewhat at this point if compared to another boxer near his division (lightweight or 130 pounds): lightwelterweight (140 pounds) Danny Garcia.

If Arum was referring to Danny Garcia getting into the ring with Pacquiao (and not Mikey Garcia), then I would say “get it on.”

Mikey and Danny’s career paths almost look like night and day, even if both have unblemished records; while Mikey has enjoyed a steady stream of no-name and declining fighters to bolster his record, Danny was an underdog in two key bouts.

Mikey’s biggest name opponent so far is Juan Manuel Lopez, whom he stopped in the fourth round on June 15, 2013. But the Lopez he faced at that time was “damaged goods,” having been stopped by journeyman Orlando Salido in two occasions: in the eighth round on April 16, 2011; and in the 10th round in March 10, 2012.

Outside of Lopez, Mikey Garcia has never faced anybody of note, even if he defeated Salido by technical decision on January 13, 2013.

Nonito Donaire, Mikey Garcia’s stablemate and who is also trained by Mikey’s older brother Robert, even has a better ring resume at this point (compared to Mikey Garcia), because the Filipino has beaten top level fighters like Vic Darchin–yan (then undefeated), Fernando Montiel (touted as a future Hall-of-Famer), and Wilfredo Vasquez (then a rising star).

Now to Danny Garcia. The Puerto Rican-American was a 7-1 underdog when he faced Amir Khan for a unification fight of two lightwelterweight belts on July 14, 2012. He stopped Khan in the fourth round.

And on September 14, 2013, Danny Garcia was a 2-1 underdog when he faced Lucas Martin Matthysse, who entered the ring with a 34-2 record with 32 knockouts. Well, Danny Garcia put down Matthysse in the 11th round and won via unanimous decision.

Danny Garcia’s record now stands at 27-0 with 16 knockouts. He is 25 years old while Mikey Garcia is 26.

I have nothing against Mikey Garcia, except that he has yet to fight the same level of opposition Danny Garcia faced, which include Erik Morales, Zab Judah, and Kendall Holt, who are all former champions.

But between the two, Mikey Garcia has better skills and ring generalship, while Danny Garcia has proven to be a tough nut to crack.

While I want to see Mikey and Danny square off in the future, I doubt if that will ever happen, considering Danny will likely climb to welterweight soon while Mikey will settle at lightweight in the next two years.

But if the two promising fighters establish themselves at the elite level and maintain their unblemished records, expect a clamor for them to meet in the ring.

And I hope that Garcia vs. Garcia won’t go the way of Pacquiao-Edwin Valero or Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. You know what I mean.


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