Former featherweight powerhouse Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs) returned to action this past July after a two and a half year layoff. He stopped Elio Rojas in the fifth round of a junior welterweight showcase fight and immediately set his sights on a the 135 pound division.
“That’s the objective,” said Garcia after the Rojas fight. “I want to move down to 135 and challenge for a world title in my next fight and after that, unify titles if the opportunity is available.”
The opportunity that Garcia is searching for may present itself in the form of undefeated WBC World lightweight champion, Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs).
Zlaticanin won the vacant title against the untested Franklin Mamani in June of this year and was immediately linked to possible unifciation fights against Jorge Linares and/or Anthony Crolla.
With Crolla expected to exercise his rematch clause against Linares, however, Zlaticanin has chosen to go in a different direction, agreeing, in principle, to face Garcia.
“I was supposed to fight the winner (of Linares-Crolla),” said Zlaticanin to World Boxing News. “But, like I said, they don’t want to fight me so I don’t even think about them at the moment. I’m focused on my fight against Mikey Garcia as we wait for the date and some details.”
Talks to match Garcia and Zlaticanin this fall have persisted but where and when to place the bout is still up in the air.
“To tell you the truth, I am used to this,” said Garcia to ESPN Digital Mexico. “I am patient and I know how things go, so it’s not a big deal if it gets pushed back a month. I was told late November or December. In the meantime, I will continue training.”