By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Mikey Garcia would love to test his skills against Vasyl Lomachenko.
A Garcia-Lomachenko matchup is one of the best bouts that can be made, but Garcia isn’t sure if Lomachenko is genuinely interested in fighting him. Garcia is the bigger man and a proven puncher at higher weights, which is among the reasons Garcia doesn’t know if that fight actually will be made.
Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) is scheduled to defend his WBO super featherweight title against Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs) on Saturday night at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles (ESPN). If he wins that fight, there are title unification fights that could keep the gifted Ukrainian southpaw at 130 pounds.
Another potential complication that could prevent Garcia-Lomachenko from happening is Garcia’s relationship with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., Lomachenko’s promoter.
Top Rank promoted Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) for about 10 years, but the three-division champion negotiated a settlement and was released from his contract in May 2016. The 29-year-old Garcia’s business battle with Top Rank helped keep him out of the ring for 2½ years.
If Lomachenko and his handlers are serious, however, Garcia is all ears. The Oxnard, California, native beat Adrien Broner (33-3, 24 KOs, 1 NC) by unanimous decision in a 12-round, 140-pound fight Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, but he expects to move back down to 135 pounds to defend his WBC lightweight title.
“Listen, I think that would be a great matchup, based on styles,” Garcia said during a post-fight press conference early Sunday morning. “I hear he is willing to fight me and has mentioned that he wants to fight me. His manager [Egis Klimas] reached out to my brother [Robert], asking, you know, maybe we can build that fight up.
“But I don’t see him making the move up to 135. You know, he’s fighting a guy at 130 who’s coming from a loss at 126. You know? That doesn’t show me he wants to move to 135. If you’re serious about it, like I said, they can come, you know, give us a phone call. You know, we can bring him on to Showtime. You know? We can definitely have a discussion. I think it would be a great matchup at 135. I ain’t coming down to nobody. I’m not gonna wait for anybody, either.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.