Ryan Garcia has lauded Manny Pacquiao on talkSPORT amid claims that the pair could fight in 2021.
The 22-year-old lightweight star is reported to be in ‘preliminary discussions’ over a potential match-up against the Filipino legend who is now 42 years of age.
Garcia told talkSPORT Fight Night: “I’m trying to be a good example as a champion to this younger generation.
“I think that’s been missing a long time, other than Manny Pacquiao as a great example.
“Once you get to the top, people like to forget how they got there and they don’t share their stories and they don’t give glory to God.
“I will stay true to myself and try to be the best example I can be for the younger generation.”
After his big win over Luke Campbell at the start of the month, Garcia demanded a showdown with fellow top talent Gervonta Davis.
However, he’s since suggested he could have a bigger fight in the pipeline.
Now, according to Mike Coppinger, preliminary talks are underway for a shock bout with Pacquiao.
Garcia previously teased in an interview with Jalen and Jacoby: “I have a potential, huge, bigger fight than him [Davis], so I might pin him off to the side.
“You know, I’m still going to fight him. But I wouldn’t not fight him unless it was an even bigger opportunity.
“But I can’t say anything right now, so I’m just going to keep it at that.”
When asked about facing the Filipino veteran, he replied: “I don’t know, I don’t know guys! It’s up for imagination.
“Let’s all use our imagination here, Manny is a legend. Manny is a person that I have always looked up to, what can you say?
“You can’t say anything bad about Manny, I wouldn’t even be mad in the ring with him!
“Even if he hit, I wouldn’t know how I would react, I would just be like, ‘Yo you hit me man I can’t believe this. Yes, hit me more!’
“No but it’s cool man, he’s just been an inspiration to me and I’m just happy.”