Lightweight and junior welterweight champion wants to add to his legacy with unification bouts in current divisions or even move up to challenge a welterweight titleholder.
Mikey Garcia made himself the center of attention for three different divisions after defeating Sergey Lipinets for the 140-pound world title at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio on Saturday night.
With the unanimous decision victory, Garcia currently owns world titles at 135 pounds and 140 pounds. He joined Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao in modern boxing history with the distinction of having won titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds.
Now, Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) is eyeing a move up to 147 pounds where he would face some of the most talented boxers in the sport.
“I have options at 135, 140 and 147. No other fighter has those options. I really enjoy the freedom in that,” Garcia said. “I’ve got at least two potential opponents to pick and choose from in each of those divisions. I have no serious injuries, so I think a return in May or June is doable for me.”
Among those options at 135 pounds is fellow champions Robert Easter and Jorge Linares. If he decides to make the leap to 147 pounds, the 30-year-old Garcia can point to world champions Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman.
“In the immediate future, I want to come down to 135 one last time and unify the titles against Easter if Jorge Linares isn’t available, but the fight that interests me the most at lightweight is Linares,” said Garcia.
“After that, I’ll move up to 140 where you have Kiryl Relikh and others and try to unify the titles there. If not, up to 147 going after a fifth title. With Errol Spence and Danny Garcia fighting before my fight, the timing of these fights right in a row was perfect. At 147, there are some great fighters like Keith Thurman and other guys who would make great options to challenge myself at later dates in 2018.”
Thurman, who is coming off elbow surgery and rehab, is slated to return to the ring on May 19. Spence has a mandatory defense of his own against Carlos Ocampo on June 16. Spence’s trainer, Derrick James, called Garcia “a great, fundamentally sound puncher” and “a challenge Errol would accept.”
“What excites me the most about Spence is that obviously he’s a big, attractive fight,” Garcia said. “He’s arguably the best 147-pounder and would be the biggest challenge of my career.”
“Easier fights won’t bring me the respect or recognition or make me someone people take seriously or accept as a champion. But if you take on the big fights, people will always love you. That’s the only way that I’ll be remembered. That does more for my legacy.”
For a closer look at Garcia vs Lipinets, visit our fight page.
- Mikey Garcia
- Garcia vs Lipinets