By Mark Whicker
Mikey Garcia showed up at Tuesday's press conference in Hollywood, but he was as far away from the stage at Avalon Hollywood as he is from a ring.
"I'm retired," he joked. "I'm retired from boxing now."
Not at 26, and not with a 34-0 record. But Garcia's suit against his Top Rank promoters figures to keep him idle for a while now.
Garcia filed the suit in April in order to escape his contract, which he says expired on Feb. 27.
"There are a few extensions that are vaguely and loosely worded," he said Tuesday, "but the way we read it, it's essentially over."
Top Rank disagrees, of course, and says Garcia is still bound by the promotional contract. A breakdown in negotiations between Top Rank and 50 Cent, the promoter for Yuriorkis Gamboa, ditched a possible Garcia-Gamboa fight in May and led to the stalemate.
Terence Crawford then took Gamboa's undefeated record with a rousing knockout last month.
"One door closed and another door opened," said Todd duBoef, the president of Top Rank, who had no comment on Garcia otherwise.
"They offered me a couple more names and I accepted it but I was told the network (HBO) wasn't interested," Garcia said. "Zero dates, zero fights. There's nothing Top Rank did that broke the relationship. I just wanted to apply some more pressure and get a little more legal with them.
One problem is that HBO officials were less than thrilled with Garcia's performance in his last fight, a decision over Juan Carlos Burgos.
"There were all these plans for me to move up in weight gradually and then possibly fight Manny Pacquiao," Garcia said. " I don't know what happened to those plans. But the more I'm in boxing, the more I understand it. I don't want to be doing this forever, but I'm only 26. I have time."
Garcia's brother and trainer Robert was making sure his corner was neutral.
"I don't know what's going on," Robert said. "I understand what Mikey's thinking, but what I want is for him to get back in the ring and start fighting again."
Hanging above all this is Al Haymon, who has a multitude of young, prominent fighters and would obviously love to add Garcia.
Mark Whicker has been a sports columnist in Southern California for 27 years.