Ryan Garcia says aim will be to KO Manny Pacquiao, exhibition or not

Nobody really saw a fight between Ryan Garcia and Manny Pacquiao as a real possibility until recent reports surfaced — and that includes Garcia himself, who tells ESPN he had absolutely no thoughts of fighting one of his heroes before getting a phone call. That phone call would change his immediate plans of seeking a fight against Gervonta Davis to face one of the fighters he idolized growing up.

“You get a call and somebody says, ‘You can fight Manny Pacquiao.’ What are you going to say to that? Your hero, one of your heroes, one of the people you’ve looked up to, and they say you have an opportunity to fight him? I couldn’t say no. I said let’s go for it. Whether it happens or not, I’m going full in on it. And that’s what I did. … I was like, ‘OK, I can’t worry about any other fight. I’m going to go after Manny Pacquiao.’ And that’s what’s happening next.”

Since the initial reports of a potential Pacquiao-Garcia fight, there’s been much speculation as to whether this fight will take place as a genuine professional bout or as an exhibition. But according to Garcia, who didn’t exactly make his preference known on the matter, he says he’ll be throwing punches to knock Pacquiao out either way.

And as it pertains to the weight were the fighters could meet, Garcia says he’s willing to go up if that’s Pacquiao’s desire, saying he’s willing to meet the Filipino icon wherever he so chooses. Garcia also claims a bout between Pacquiao and himself will break records, saying people still underestimate the power of social media.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that Pacquiao himself has been mum on the subject of facing Garcia, so it’ll be interesting to see how much momentum the prospective fight gains going forward.

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