By Edward Chaykovsky
Former two division world champion Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs) waged a two-year legal battle with former promoter Top Rank - while he attempted to break his contractual agreement with them.
Garcia and Top Rank were able to reach a settlement earlier this year and went their separate ways.
On January 28th, Garcia will get the opportunity to get right back in the mix with the best fighters in the world when he faces undefeated WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The bout will be the Showtime televised co-feature to the featherweight rematch between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz.
Garcia, while having his last two fights on the undercards of Premier Boxing Champions events, is still a promotional free agent.
“I know eventually I’m going to need a partner to get the big fights that I want,” Garcia said to the Las Vegas Review Journal. “I just want a fair deal. After this fight in January, if things go right, I’ll be the WBC lightweight champion as a free agent. The offers are going to be endless.
“I like how Showtime has handled things for me along with the relationship we have built with Mr. Haymon, who also has shown a lot of interest in working with me and he already helped me with these two fights. They have been a big help in this come back for me. I just want to keep my options open.”
Just because of the legal war with Top Rank - Garcia does not rule out the possibility of a showdown with some of their stars - including WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 4KOs).
“If Top Rank wants to make a fair deal with me then sure I’ll fight one of their guys,” Garcia said. “If Lomachenko wants to come to 135, I’ll be very interested. Same thing for Crawford if he’s still there when I decide to go up to 140. This is business and Top Rank needs to understand that.”