Mikey Garcia: Still Want to Fight Linares, But Won't Chase Him

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Jorge Linares is the lightweight Mikey Garcia wants to fight most.

Garcia is not so sure the feeling is mutual, though Linares doesn’t think Garcia will even return to the 135-pound division. Garcia, who defeated Adrien Broner by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 140-pound fight Saturday night, disputed Linares’ contention.

“I still wanna do the Linares fight,” Garcia told “Hopefully we can enter into discussions and talks with his team, Linares’ team, to get that fight before the end of the year. That’s the fight that makes the most sense. We would unify titles, we would have the best fighting the best.

“But I’ve also gotta be available and flexible. With the way boxing works, I’m not gonna be there chasing anybody or waiting for anybody, either. So if that’s not available, I’m gonna move on with my career.”


Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) wanted to face Linares in a lightweight title unification fight this summer, but Linares’ representatives told Garcia he wanted to take another fight first. That’s what led Garcia toward boxing Broner (33-3, 24 KOs, 1 NC) in a fight Showtime televised from Barclays Center.

Linares owns the WBA 135-pound championship, but he also is the WBC’s “diamond” champion at 135 pounds. Garcia won the WBC world lightweight title by knocking out Montenegro’s Dejan Zlaticanin (22-1, 15 KOs) in the third round January 28 in Las Vegas.

“The WBC granted him and myself an optional fight,” Garcia explained. “And from what I was told, and I was dealing with Linares’ people, they were looking at another fight in between. That makes sense, too. That’s why [we took] on Adrien Broner, as opposed to just waiting for that fight. Like I said, I have to be flexible. I can’t be chasing or waiting for anybody.”

Venezuela’s Linares (42-3, 27 KOs) will make a mandatory title defense against England’s Luke Campbell (17-1, 14 KOs) on September 23 at The Forum in Inglewood, California (HBO). Campbell is the No. 1 contender in the lightweight rankings for both the WBA and WBC.

Garcia will watch that fight intently as he plots his next move.

“At 135, I’ve mentioned it before, a title unification match – Jorge Linares is the No. 1 guy that stands out the most,” Garcia said during a post-fight press conference at Barclays Center. “If that’s unavailable, at 140 you’ve got a title unification match coming around the corner between [Terence] Crawford and [Julius] Indongo. That would be a great matchup. But we all know promotional problems sometimes don’t allow fights to happen. So I’m not gonna be waiting for anybody.”

For more on Garcia possibly facing Crawford at 140 pounds, click here:

For more on Garcia potentially boxing Vasyl Lomachenko at 135 pounds, click here:

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by KingTito on 08-01-2017

This fight needs to happen.

Comment by bigdunny1 on 08-01-2017

[QUOTE=filup79;17910723]Mikey has been wanting to unify with Linares, if Linares really wanted the fight, he would have fought Mikey next instead of waiting till the end of September to fight. Mikey wasn't going to take over 6 months off to…

Comment by bigdunny1 on 08-01-2017

[QUOTE=filup79;17910682]Why should Mikey have to wait until September for Linares? So Mikey needs to put his career on hold for Linares? Linares could have easily fought earlier if he wanted to fight Mikey. I don't see Linares fighting Mikey anytime…

Comment by filup79 on 08-01-2017

[QUOTE=1hourRun;17910705]Making title defenses is standard practice for champions but Mikey thinks its beneath him to do that, but the worse part about it is that this other guy ( Linares ) happens to have the WBA 135 title -- but…

Comment by 1hourRun on 08-01-2017

[QUOTE=filup79;17910682]Why should Mikey have to wait until September for Linares? So Mikey needs to put his career on hold for Linares? Linares could have easily fought earlier if he wanted to fight Mikey. I don't see Linares fighting Mikey anytime…

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