By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – Kevin Cunningham’s criticism didn’t stop Mikey Garcia from discussing fighting Errol Spence Jr.
Cunningham, Robert Easter Jr.’s new trainer, considers it disrespectful for Garcia to continually talk about boxing Spence and Vasiliy Lomachenko when the four-division champion still must get through Easter on Saturday night at Staples Center. Garcia told BoxingScene.com recently that he’s not overlooking Easter and makes no apologies for honestly answering questions he is asked about future fights.
With Easter seated just two chairs away from him Thursday during their final press conference, Garcia again discussed why a daunting fight against Spence intrigues him.
“I’m telling you, I’m here to take the biggest fight, the biggest challenges,” Garcia said. “And that’s why I’m willing to move up to welterweight. I’m very serious when I say that I will be at welterweight soon. I really look forward to taking on someone like Errol Spence for that reason, because everybody says, ‘Don’t do it, it’s the biggest threat, the biggest challenger, I’m way out of my league trying to go there.’ That’s what actually excites me and motivates me the most. I wanna prove [to] everybody the kind of fighter that I am.
“I haven’t had those opportunities yet. I’ve been fighting, you know, champions and undefeated champions, but it seems like I’m always the favorite. It seems like my accomplishments don’t get enough credit sometimes because, ‘Well, you’re supposed to win. You’re supposed to beat that guy.’ But a fight with Errol Spence is a whole different league and that’s why I’m really interested in getting that fight.”
The 28-year-old Spence said last month that he is willing to fight Garcia next, assuming Garcia is truly serious about moving up two weight classes to challenge him for the IBF welterweight title. The 30-year-old Garcia is ranked ahead of Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) on most pound-for-pound lists, but the bigger, stronger Spence would be heavily favored to beat him.
Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs), of Oxnard, California, is a 10-1 favorite to defeat Easter (21-0, 14 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, in their 12-round, 135-pound title unification fight for Garcia’s WBC lightweight title and Easter’s IBF crown. Showtime will televise Garcia-Easter as the main event of a tripleheader Saturday night.
That telecast also will include a 10-round heavyweight match between Cuban contender Luis Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs, 2 NC) and Romania’s Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs). The three-bout broadcast is set to begin at 10 p.m. ET with a 10-round junior welterweight bout that’ll pit San Antonio’s Mario Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) against Jose Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs), of Garden Grove, California.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.