By Keith Idec
Nothing Mikey Garcia attempts to accomplish inside a boxing ring moving forward would surprise Richard Schaefer.
The veteran promoter wouldn’t even be shocked if Garcia eventually moves up to welterweight to challenge unbeaten IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. That fight might be a bit too ambitious even for the highly skilled Garcia, but he has discussed possibly boxing at welterweight.
Garcia’s unanimous-decision victory over Sergey Lipinets in their 12-round, 140-pound title fight Saturday night made him a world champion in a fourth weight class.
The Oxnard, California, native expects to move back down to lightweight for his next fight. The 30-year-old Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), who also owns the WBC 135-pound championship, has mentioned lightweight title unification fights against WBA champ Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) and IBF champ Robert Easter Jr. (21-0, 14 KOs) as his top options, and in that order.
In his following fight, the newly crowned IBF junior welterweight champ could skip over the 140-pound division in which he has now beaten Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs) and Adrien Broner (33-3, 24 KOs, 1 NC) to make his welterweight debut.
“I told him, ‘Man, you’re gonna give me a heart attack,’ ” said Schaefer, whose company promoted the card headlined by Garcia-Lipinets at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio. “He’s like, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t mind going to fight somebody like Errol Spence.’ And I said, ‘Oh, you must be kidding me.’ He says, ‘Oh, no, no, no. I really think it’s a good fight.’
“So he wants to keep challenging himself to fight the best. And I think that is what’s the hallmark of an all-time great, of a truly great fighter, who believes in himself, that he can fight anyone and everyone, and he can beat everyone. So we’ll have to see. I mean, with Mikey, nothing surprises me. No challenge is too big for him.”
Like Garcia, Spence is generally regarded as one of the top 10 boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport. Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) would own a size advantage over Garcia, however, and is considered one of the most powerful punchers within the 147-pound division.
Garcia didn’t mention Spence specifically during the post-fight press conference early Sunday morning, yet he did discuss potentially fighting at welterweight.
“After [another lightweight fight], move up to whatever option’s greater – either at 140, or possibly even 147,” Garcia said. “I wanna take challenges because that’s the only way that I’ll be remembered. You know, if I take easier fights it doesn’t – people won’t give you the recognition. People won’t accept you as a champion. But if you take on the biggest challenges available, people will always love you for that.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.