- Manny Pacquiao has opened as a slight betting favorite against Ryan Garcia.
- Pacman and King Ryan have been linked to a super fight since Conor McGregor’s loss at UFC 257.
- Garcia said the bout will be a “real” 12-round bout where their records will be on the line.
After Conor McGregor’s loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, the glitter of an exhibition boxing bout between the Irishman and 8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao faded fast.
Late last year, the two combat sports icons had agreed to meet each other in the center of a boxing ring sometime in 2021. But that bout was supposed to happen after Conor McGregor took care of business inside the UFC cage, which he did not.
Enter Ryan Garcia, the interim WBC lightweight champion who is coming off a win over Luke Campbell. King Ryan was supposed to be campaigning for a Gervonta Davis showdown but since mentioning his dream and desire to fight Pacquiao in a Mike Tyson interview, the Pacquiao vs Garcia super fight talk gained steam.
Garcia has since been vocal about a Pacquiao fight to media and in social media. He confirmed that the fight is happening and that it will be “real” 12-round bout where their records will be at stake. Of course, that’s just Ryan. The Pacquiao camp has been quiet but the latest intel is that discussions between the two camps are making serious progress.
Dream or Reality?
From Ryan Garcia’s IG.
Dream or Reality? pic.twitter.com/2thR0HMamo
— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) January 25, 2021
While Ryan Garcia’s IG post was captioned “From dream to reality”, the more apt phrase for this rumored bout is “Dream or Reality” because while King Ryan has always said that it was his dream to fight Manny Pacquiao, turning that to reality could be difficult given that he currently fights at lightweight which has a weight limit of 135 pound while Pacquiao has resided at welterweight or 147 pounds for over a decade.
However, when you look at Manny Pacquiao’s stellar career, there was a point in time when a 135-pound Pacquiao moved up two weight classes to meet Oscar De La Hoya in a 147-pound event called “The Dream Match”. The Golden Boy meanwhile, moved down from light-middleweight (154 pounds ) to welterweight in order for the fight to be made. Given that history, and the similarities in the weights involved, anything is possible.
In the past, Pacquiao, who started his boxing career at 108-pounds, has admitted that he is not a natural welterweight and that he doesn’t need to cut much weight to make 147-pounds. But he’s much older now and seems to have settled down at the 146 to 146.5 fighting weight. Pac was 146 against Horn and Matthysse, 146.5 against Broner and Thurman.
It remains to be seen if Pacman is willing to fight at a lower catchweight to meet Garcia. But even if he does, Garcia will have to put on the extra weight to make the fight happen. Reports suggest that if the fight does happen, it will be contested between 140-147 pounds.
Pacquiao Slight Favorite
Manny Pacquiao Opens As Slight Favorite In Still-Discussed Fight With Ryan Garcia https://t.co/NkG0EsNwlx pic.twitter.com/vBeDJPKVr4
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) February 3, 2021
With The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reporting at the end of January that the camps of Pacquiao and Garcia are “making progress” towards a deal for the super fight, the best boxing betting sites have started opening their betting lines.
According to online bookmaker Bovada, the Filipino ring legend is a slight -150 betting favorite against Garcia whom it listed at +120. This marks the first time that Garcia has been the underdog in his unbeaten pro boxing career. Pacquiao meanwhile, opened as the +115 betting underdog in his last fight against Thurman. When the betting money came in, he entered the fight as a -130 odds on favorite.
Looking back at history, Pacman also opened as a +190 underdog when he fought De La Hoya before closing at +130 on fight night. The Pac vs Garcia betting lines have a lot of similarity. But what about the results?
When Pac fought De La Hoya, he was already a five-division champion. Ryan Garcia has yet to win a major title and the biggest opponent he’s beaten was Luke Campbell in his most recent fight. However, Pacquiao is no longer a spring chicken at 42. And while he is coming off a sensational performance against Keith Thurman, that was way back in July 2019. Garcia could be special. Father Time will catch up with Pacquiao sooner or later. But if this fight is made, will this be the time?