Posted on 12/26/2019
By: Hans Themistode
It wasn’t the sort of introduction to the Welterweight division that Mikey Garcia wanted, but he’s not ready to move away from the division just yet.
The last time Garcia was seen in the ring, he was getting dominated in an IBF title fight against Errol Spence Jr. It wasn’t the sort of performance that fans were expecting to see from Garcia. With just how lopsided that contest was, many were expecting Garcia to drop back down in weight. Yet, that isn’t something that is on his mind. He is currently scheduled to take on former two division world champion Jessie Vargas in February, 2020.
“My last performance was horrible,” said Garcia. “The worse of my career and I feel that I need to make up for that. I gotta show my fans that there is much more to Mikey Garcia, even at 147. I should be fighting at a lower weight class but I want to show everyone that I can be a title challenger 147.”
From a talent perspective, Garcia has the edge over Vargas. But boxing doesn’t simply come down to who has the most skill. Too many times have we seen the smaller, more skilled boxer, take an absolute pounding against the bigger man.
If Garcia is what many believe he still is, which is a pound for pound level fighter, then he should have little trouble against Vargas. His last fight against Spence, had he won, would have gifted him the IBF crown. This time around, his contest against Vargas could give him an even bigger opportunity.
For years Garcia has been linked to future hall of famer and current WBA Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. A win over Vargas could push Garcia to the front of the line for that contest.
If fighting Pacquiao wasn’t a big enough incentive, promoter Eddie Hearn recently dropped some huge news.
Not only would Garcia vs Pacquiao be the most likely contest next, but it could also take place in Saudi Arabia.
Remember, it was just a few weeks ago that Saudi Arabia built the biggest outdoor temporary arena to host the Heavyweight title clash between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.
The fight did monster numbers and there is no reason why it won’t be even bigger with Garcia and Pacquiao headlining the event.
“They want that [Pacquiao and Garcia] fight,” said Hearn. “They want the biggest of the biggest fights in Saudi Arabia. They have loads of money and are not going anywhere. If you get [a mega fight], they have the money for it. You know, if I’m going to do two shows in Saudi, they are going to be f—ing monsters … I’m getting approaches from everybody in the middle east to do fights, but right now, Saudi Arabia is the one who put the money up and the trust in us.”
No one is overlooking for Vargas. He is still in the prime of his career and a very good fighter who has only lost to Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley. While Garcia can’t and won’t think past him, the fans on the other hand can’t help but get excited if a Mikey Garcia vs Manny Pacquiao fight takes place.
If Joshua vs Ruiz was any indication, the magnitude of that event in Saudi Arabia would be ridiculous.