By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Mikey Garcia smiled wide when a reporter asked about Yuriorkis Gamboa’s social media assault on him.
“That’s all right,” Garcia said at a news conference to promote his fight Saturday night against Juan Carlos Burgos. “He’s looking for a fight. He’s looking for a fight with me, trying to promote a fight. That comes with boxing. Sometimes you get people with loud mouths and it works for them to get fights. So it might be working for him.”
Garcia acknowledged that he wants to battle the trash-talking Gamboa as much as the unbeaten Cuban craves a fight against him. The 26-year-old Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs) must first overcome Mexico’s Burgos (30-1-2, 20 KOs) in their 12-round fight for Garcia’s WBO super featherweight title in The Theater at Madison Square Garden (HBO; 9:45 p.m. ET).
The Oxnard, Calif., native hopes beating Burgos propels the WBO’s 130-pound champion toward a 135-pound showdown with the 32-year-old Gamboa (23-0, 16 KOs), who hasn’t boxed since scoring a unanimous-decision win over Colombia’s Darleys Perez (29-1, 19 KOs) on June 8 in Montreal.
“I think it’s very possible that my next fight could be against him,” Garcia said, “if negotiations go down well and he doesn’t overprice himself, like he did last time. It’s just about getting together, getting both teams to agree on a contract and sign the fight.”
Even if they sign contracts, Garcia will be concerned about Gamboa’s participation because a healthy Gamboa backed out of an April 2012 lightweight title fight against Brandon Rios, Garcia’s stablemate and close friend.
“That’s always going to be there because he already did it once,” Garcia said. “He already canceled after he had already signed a contract. So we’ve got to be aware of that. But I think right now, at this point, he really wants to get a fight with any of the top guys. His promoter [50 Cent] and my promoter [Top Rank] just need to get together, find out what the terms will be and agree.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.