Source: Flickr via Martin Jones
Despite recent fight buzz, Manny Pacquiao has announced that he plans to remain absent from the ring for the foreseeable future.
Pacquio made headlines recently after undefeated fighter Ryan Garcia reported to ESPN that he received a call from Pacquiao’s camp to schedule a fight.
“You get a call and somebody says, ‘You can fight Manny Pacquiao.’ What are you going to say to that?” Garcia said to ESPN.
Garcia went on to say that he considers Pacquiao his hero, and that he could never turn down an opportunity to fight him.
“I’m going to go after Manny Pacquiao -- that’s what’s happening next,” Garcia told ESPN after knocking out Luke Campell on Dec. 2.
The 22-year-old Garcia has built a name for himself by starting his career 21-0 with 18 KOs, and he has clearly drawn interest from his hero.
Now 42-years-old, Pacquiao won his first title by defeating Chatchai Sasakul in 1998 -- the year Garcia was born -- and has gone on to a storied career.
Most notable to Garcia, was Pacquiao’s dominance over Oscar De La Hoya in 2008.
“I was just young and remember seeing him battering Oscar De La Hoya,” Garica told ESPN. “I was like, ‘Oscar, throw some punches, please!”
Garcia’s representative, Guadalupe Valencia, told the Athletic, “Manny and Ryan want it. [So,] that’s what we’re trying to accomplish.”
However, more recently, Golden Boy Promotions executive Eric Gomez told ESPN, “That fight isn’t going to happen.”
The Garcia/Pacquiao fight may be held up because of the WBA’s designation of Pacquiao as a “champion in recess”. The WBA defines a recess “when a champion is unable to defend the belt for medical, legal or other reasons beyond his control.”
Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman in 2019, his last fight -- for the time being.