By Miguel Rivera
This past Saturday night in Texas, Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) became the IBF junior welterweight champion with a twelve round unanimous decision over Sergey Lipinets at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
Garcia is still the WBC world champion at the lightweight limit of 135-pounds.
The now four division world champion has hoping to return to the lightweight division to pursue a unification with WBA world champion Jorge Linares, who also happens to be the WBC's mandatory challenger.
But on Tuesday it was revealed that Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) reached an agreement to defend his WBA belt against Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) on May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The bout will headline a card televised on ESPN.
The recent turns of events may influence Garcia to remain at 140-pounds, according to his older brother and head trainer, Robert Garcia.
The elder Garcia believes that there are a lot more opportunities at junior welterweight.
"Right now it is most likely that he will remain at 140 pounds. It was his [second] fight [at the weight] and he looked good. He took some risks on some occasions and he was hit, but we were surprised by just how well he did at the weight. I think at 140 he's very strong, and we will see what happens," Robert Garcia told ESPN Deportes.
"On Saturday, Kiryl Relikh was also crowned as a world champion. And this Saturday José Ramírez or Amir Imam will win [the WBC titlte]. The good thing is, that there are possibilities and we could even move up to welterweight if a good opportunity comes up.... you know that Mikey likes those strong challenges."
On Monday, the IBF gave Garcia a deadline of March 22 to make a decision on their world title. If he plans to keep the IBF belt, the sanctioning body has already advised him that he needs to make mandatory defense against Ivan Baranchyk (18-0, 11 KOs), who won an eliminator last Friday with TKO win over late replacement Petr Petrov in Deadwood, South Dakota.