By Keith Idec
Buddy McGirt interjected during a conference call Monday after listening to several consecutive questions and answers about Mikey Garcia fighting various lightweights and junior welterweights.
McGirt, who trains Sergey Lipinets, said, “Excuse me! Excuse me! Can we talk about Mikey and Sergey?”
There has been a lot of talk about Garcia’s following opponent during the buildup toward his fight against Lipinets on March 10 in San Antonio. The unbeaten Garcia guaranteed, though, that he is solely focused on challenging Lipinets for the Kazakh knockout artist’s IBF junior welterweight title in a fight Showtime will air from Freeman Coliseum.
“I can’t take Lipinets lightly at all,” Garcia said. “I know he’s a tough, tough champion and, you know, he sees a huge opportunity in front of him when he faces me. If he were to beat me, the sky’s the limit for him. But I’m not looking at that. I’m focusing on winning. I believe my skills and my boxing ability are greater than what he brings, and I’m just excited for the fight. I’m ready to go now and this will open up even bigger doors for me. It’s gonna be a huge accomplishment when I do win this world title on the 10th.”
The 30-year-old Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) will attempt to become a world champion in a fourth weight class when he battles Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs), who’ll make the first defense of his IBF 140-pound championship. Garcia, of Oxnard, California, is consistently listed as a 20-1 favorite against Lipinets.
Lightweight title unification fights against WBA champ Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) or IBF champ Robert Easter Jr. (21-0, 14 KOs) could be next for Garcia. Promoter Richard Schaefer emphasized during Monday’s conference call, however, that Garcia is only concentrating on Lipinets.
“There’s a lot of options gonna be open for him, but Buddy is absolutely right,” Schaefer said. “First things, first. And I think this is exactly dangerous, when you start overlooking opponents. And I had that same conversation with Mikey, not to overlook Sergey, and I know he doesn’t.
“So, you know, let’s have that conversation – we might have that same conversation about Sergey then, after the final bell on March the 10th. But I think there are definitely, for both fighters, big options out there.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.