By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – If Mikey Garcia cannot get the fights he wants at lightweight or super lightweight, he hasn’t ruled out facing an elite welterweight.
The unbeaten WBC lightweight champion confirmed following his convincing victory Adrien Broner on Saturday night at Barclays Center that he’d consider challenging WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman in a 147-pound showdown. Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) is recovering from elbow surgery three months ago and isn’t expected to fight again until early in 2018.
Once Thurman is healthy, though, Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) would welcome a chance to become a four-division champion against the undefeated fighter from Clearwater, Florida.
“I would do it,” Garcia said during the post-fight press conference early Sunday morning. “And honestly, if it’s a good fight that the people, media and the network wanna discuss, I’m open to discussing that, too.
“He’s a great champion, a great fighter, you know, he’s a unified champion at welterweight. So that’d be a great matchup, a great accomplishment, a big challenge. But that’s what we want. That’s exactly the kind of fights that we want, you know, a big challenge. And if I wanna be remembered in the sport, you know, those are the fights that you’ve gotta take.”
Garcia also is interested in moving back down from 140 pounds to 135 for title unification fights. Specifically, the Oxnard, California, native wants to battle WBA champion Jorge Linares (42-3, 27 KOs), who is scheduled to make a mandatory defense against England’s Luke Campbell (17-1, 14 KOs) on September 23 in Inglewood, California.
If he can’t lure Linares into a fight, Garcia has mentioned facing WBA/WBO 140-pound champion Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) or WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) in a lightweight fight. Boxing Crawford or Lomachenko would be contingent on them winning their upcoming fights against Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) and Miguel Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs), respectively.
Garcia, 29, also could have difficulty dealing with former promoter Top Rank Inc., which promotes Crawford and Lomachenko. Garcia reached a financial settlement with Bob Arum’s Top Rank to terminate his promotional contract in May 2016.
Regardless, Garcia wants meaningful fights moving forward.
“I could take easy fights, easier fights, you know, fighting top contenders, but fairly easier fights,” Garcia said. “But that really doesn’t do anything. The fans won’t recognize you, won’t remember you. You know? It’s not gone help build a legacy.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.