Garcia seeks Linares or Easter
According to the IBF, their super lightweight champion Mikey Garcia has made the decision to vacate his title and move back down to the lightweight division. Garcia originally said the exact opposite in that he would remain at 140lbs and vacate his WBC lightweight title.
Garcia won the IBF title a little over a month ago when he defeated previous champion Sergey Lipinets by unanimous decision on March 10th. As mentioned, Garcia initially notified the IBF and told them that he planned to keep their belt and make his first defense against undefeated mandatory challenger Ivan Baranchyk. Garcia and Baranchyk had until April 22 to reach an agreement or a purse bid was going to be called.
Garcia won the WBC lightweight belt in January of last year when he knocked out Dejan Zlaticanin in Las Vegas, but he’s yet to defend the title. He is expected to be in attendance on May 12th when Vasyl Lomachenko faces Jorge Linares for the WBA & Ring Magazine lightweight titles.
Last year Garcia and Linares were reportedly close to signing a deal for a unification bout but negotiations fell apart. Robert Garcia, brother and trainer of Mikey, told 3KingsBoxing.com earlier that they would like to face Linares should he beat Lomachenko.
“Yeah we want to try to unify belts at 135. Linares is a good fighter, good skills, he can win. Lomachenko is good but Linares is to. If he wins then that’s what we’ll do. If Lomachenko wins then it will be a little while before we can make that fight.”
When asked if that has to do with Top Rank or with them, he said;
“Both probably. That’s a big fight, bigger than anything else. It’s gonna take money to make that fight so a couple of years maybe because it has build. It’s just gonna be bigger and bigger really.”
The other two champions, IBF champion Robert Easter Jr and WBO titlist Ray Beltran, in the division are currently seeking fights themselves so the opportunity to unify is definitely out there for both Garcia and the Lomachenko/Linares winner.
Bob Arum told 3KingsBoxing.com last week that a unification between Lomachenko and Beltran would likely be next should the Ukrainian beat Linares next month.
That’ll leave Garcia and Easter, who are both associated with Al Haymon. When asked about Easter, Robert Garcia told us;
“Yeah, that’s a good fight. If Lomachenko wins then we probably can fight Easter.”
The two sides were very close to a deal late last year but the bout never materialized as Garcia faced Lipinets and Easter defended his belt against former super featherweight champion Javier Fortuna.
By: Chris Henderson