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Ryan Garcia gives up Pacquiao dream fight

Ryan Garcia woke up and found out he was just dreaming of fighting Manny Pacquiao.

Weeks after claiming a thrilling showdown with the eight-division world champion is in the offing, the prime prospect finally backed down and said he would focus on another opponent instead.

The 22-year-old Garcia, an unbeaten lightweight (21-0, 18 knockouts), posted on Tuesday, March 2, through All Access Elite Boxing on Facebook: "To all my fans and supporters, my fight with Manny Pacquiao is not happening right now."

"I tried my best after getting the call to fight him but didn't happen due to some issues I didn't expect to come up but I'm already working on the next fight. I will always see Manny as an inspiration and someone who is a legend and that I respect. I wish the best for him in life and boxing," he added.

With Garcia – a social media phenomenon with over 8 million Instagram followers – out of the equation, Pacquiao's list of probable rivals this year got shorter.

While World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford seems to have the lead with Top Rank big boss Bob Arum only needing to produce the $50 million combined purse ($40 for Pacquiao, $10 for Crawford) to get the fight done, Mikey Garcia is also in the race with World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titlist Errol Spence.

Mikey Garcia, a four-division champion, was a strong choice to tangle with Pacquiao in July last year until the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on fight schedules.

Mixed martial artist Conor McGregor was the pacesetter in the Pacquiao derby until a shock knockout loss to Dustin Poirier in January quashed the megabuck bout envisioned by Paradigm Sports which handles the two superstars.

Now that Ryan Garcia has dropped out, Crawford and Mikey Garcia pulled ahead.

Crawford (37-0 with 28 knockouts) is perceived to be more dangerous than Mikey Garcia (40-1 with 30 knockouts) but Pacquiao hardly cares.
The 42-year-old legend thrives on challenges. – Rappler.com