MANNY PACQUIAO has been accused of pursuing ‘low risk’ fights by welterweight contender Mikey Garcia, who is itching to share the ring with the boxing legend.
The former WBA welterweight champion was on course to box UFC superstar Conor McGregor later this year but saw the blockbuster match-up scuppered by the Irishman’s defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
Pacquiao has since flirted with an exhibition bout against lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia, who is 20 years his junior.
Former IBF welterweight title challenger Garcia is eager to share the ring Pacman before he calls it a day but believes the Filipino’s days of facing top contenders are over.
He told Little Giant Boxing: “Everybody would like to fight [Manny] Pacquiao. Is it going to happen? I don’t know.
“It was supposed to happen. Towards the end of the year, I heard him talking about Conor McGregor.
“Then he started talking about Ryan Garcia. I haven’t talked to him.
“From that, it tells me that Manny is looking for a low-risk, high reward type of fight.”
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Despite being frustrated by Pacquiao’s plans for the final stages of his hall-of-fame career, Garcia admits the former eight-weight world champion has ‘earned’ the right to pick and choose who he faces.
The American said: “He’s obviously earned to call the shots. “He’s done it all in boxing. There’s nothing left for him to prove or claim.
“If he wants to go out and retire on a big event because these guys [McGregor and Ryan] would make it a big event and have the least amount of risk, so be it.
“[But] If he’s looking for a real fight, a challenging fight, then he would have to look at actual welterweight fighters.”
Garcia hopes a showdown with Pacquiao will eventually come to fruition but admits the ball isn’t in his court.
The 33-year-old said: “Everybody would like to see Manny fight a big fight and challenge himself.
“So if he fights someone like Ryan, f**k it, he’s earned it. I would fight him, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to Manny.”
Pacquiao, 42, hasn’t fought since he ended Keith Thurman’s reign as WBA welterweight champion in July 2019.
Garcia, meanwhile, was last in action in February 2020, bouncing back from his loss to Errol Spence Jr with a unanimous decision victory over Jessie Vargas.