By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – Robert Garcia gave what he considers the real reason it’s not even worth discussing a bout between his younger brother and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Fighting Lomachenko makes much more sense for Mikey Garcia than moving up two weight classes to challenge Errol Spence Jr. Garcia and Lomachenko both are lightweight champions and Garcia would be the stronger fighter if they meet.
But according to Robert Garcia, who trains his brother, Mikey Garcia knows a lightweight title unification fight against Lomachenko won’t happen anytime soon. That, more than anything, is why Mikey Garcia, the IBF/WBC lightweight champ, has narrowed his focus to an extremely challenging fight against Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) later this year.
Robert Garcia revealed during a post-fight press conference late Saturday night at Staples Center that Top Rank Inc. employees even have told him they think Garcia would beat Lomachenko in a lightweight fight. Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank, which promoted Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) until a contract dispute resulted in buyout in May 2016.
Robert Garcia said he hasn’t spoken with Arum or Top Rank president Todd duBoef directly about his brother boxing Lomachenko. He has had those conversations with unspecified Top Rank employees.
“Not with Bob Arum or Todd, but I do [speak] with a lot of other people that work for Top Rank,” Robert Garcia said following Mikey Garcia’s victory over Robert Easter Jr. “And I’m gonna tell you the truth – most of them tell me Mikey will beat Lomachenko and that’s probably why if the fight ever happens, it’s probably gonna be whenever it’s so big it has to happen. But as of now, Mikey doesn’t even consider chasing that fight because we know that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.”
Lomachenko is recovering from shoulder surgery performed May 30 to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
The three-division champion from Ukraine is expected to return to the ring either December 1 or December 8. Lomachenko’s next opponent hasn’t been determined, but facing Garcia in his first fight following surgery obviously wouldn’t make much sense.
The 30-year-old Lomachenko won the WBA lightweight title in his last bout. Jorge Linares knocked down Lomachenko in the sixth round of that fight, before Lomachenko came back to knock out Venezuela’s Linares (44-4, 27 KOs) with a body shot in the 10th round May 12 at Madison Square Garden.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.