By Keith Idec
Robert Garcia eventually warmed up to his younger brother’s ambitious idea to move up two more weight classes to challenge Miguel Cotto.
Mikey Garcia’s trainer even envisioned the WBC lightweight champion stopping Puerto Rico’s Cotto, who wound up losing to huge underdog Sadam Ali in a farewell fight December 2 that was first offered to Garcia. Apart from fighting Cotto at 154 pounds, though, Robert Garcia doesn’t want Mikey Garcia to move up any higher than he already has for fights.
Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) will participate in his second straight bout at the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds when he challenges IBF champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) on February 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio (Showtime). Garcia won his 140-pound debut in his last appearance, a thorough 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over former four-division champion Adrien Broner (33-3, 24 KOs, 1 NC) on July 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
If Mikey Garcia gets past Lipinets, too, Robert Garcia would prefer for him to either remain at 140 pounds or move back down to the lightweight limit of 135 for title unification fights against either WBA champion Jorge Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) or IBF champion Robert Easter Jr. (20-0, 14 KOs). Mikey Garcia’s ambition doesn’t worry his older brother/trainer, but Robert Garcia wants him to make smart decisions regarding the weights at which the three-division champion competes.
“I don’t get nervous because I’ve been in this for many years,” Robert Garcia told BoxingScene.com recently. “Me, as a former champion, we know the way fighters think and we’ll fight anybody. But I think it’ll stop here, at least in jumping weight divisions. I think it stops at 140. Mikey should take his time now, if everything goes well, because Lipinets is not an easy fight.
“So we can’t say we already won the fight, because it’s not gonna be easy. But it is a great challenge and it’s a winnable fight for Mikey. So if everything goes well – 135, 140, I have no problem. But, you know, taking any challenges anywhere higher than that, then I would probably be a little more concerned and a little more nervous.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.