By Keith Idec
Ideally, Vasiliy Lomachenko would like to fight Mikey Garcia when he returns to the ring in the spring.
Lomachenko realizes that’s not possible because Garcia has agreed to move up two weight classes to challenge IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. on March 16. The WBA/WBO lightweight champion expects Spence to beat Garcia, but Lomachenko still hopes to test himself against Garcia later in 2019.
Garcia-Lomachenko is one the most anticipated bouts in boxing, whereas most fans feel Spence is too big and too strong for Garcia. Lomachenko agrees that fans should see their lightweight showdown as soon as possible.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko discussed his desire to fight Garcia during his appearance Monday night on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “At the Fights,” with co-hosts Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney.
“I love this fight,” Lomachenko said. “I want this fight. And I think this fight will be in boxing history. And maybe next year we can make this fight.”
The 30-year-old Garcia’s contentious history with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., Lomachenko’s promoter, could cause the continued delay of the best bout boxing could offer within the lightweight division. If Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) were to upset Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) when they meet in a FOX Pay-Per-View bout, he almost certainly would remain at 147 pounds for welterweight title unification fights against WBO champ Terence Crawford, WBA champ Keith Thurman or WBC champ Shawn Porter.
When Gordon asked Lomachenko if he feels Garcia would move back down to fight him at some point next year, Lomachenko replied, “I don’t know. I think we need to ask Mikey.”
Lomachenko isn’t certain, either, who he’ll fight in April or May.
“I don’t know who,” Lomachenko said. “This question [is] for my promoter. But as for me, I want Mikey Garcia next. Yeah. Yeah, I want this fight. And I think he want this fight, too. A lot of fans, a lot of people want to see this fight, so maybe we can make this fight next year.”
Arum mentioned Richard Commey as a possible opponent for Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs), who defeated Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 135-pound title unification fight Saturday night in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Ghana’s Commey (27-2, 24 KOs) and Russia’s Isa Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs) will fight for the vacant IBF lightweight crown Garcia gave up to box Spence at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.