ALTHOUGH Mikey Garcia is 39 fights into a 12-year professional career, and has won world titles in four different weight divisions, he’s still without the signature win required to unlock the door to superstardom.
In recent times, he has been linked with a number of opponents who would help him achieve this, but still he patiently waits to make the jump. At 39-0, and with IBF and WBC titles at lightweight, it needs to happen soon.
Two possible Garcia opponents, both of whom would fit the bill, are Vasyl Lomachenko and Manny Pacquiao. Lomachenko, the current WBA lightweight champion, is arguably the most technically gifted fighter in the sport today, while Pacquiao, a world champion in six different weight classes, is the WBA regular welterweight champion and remains one of the biggest names around.
Suffice to say, either one of them will do, and Garcia, as confident as you’d expect any unbeaten fighter to be, reckons he’d defeat both with little difficulty. More than that, he believes he’d stop them.
“I really wanted that fight (Pacquiao) a lot a couple of years ago,” Garcia told ESNews. “Right now, there’s other fights that interest me more. But I do definitely want that (Manny Pacquiao) fight. I would knock out both of those guys (Manny Pacquiao and Vasyl Lomachenko).”
A promotional free agent, Garcia, 30, has been linked not only to bouts against Lomachenko and Pacquiao, but also gifted American Errol Spence, the reigning IBF welterweight champion, in a fight that would require Garcia leaping not one but two weight classes.
It remains to be seen what path he takes, but one thing seems clear: Mikey Garcia is ready for all comers.
The hope was that Victor Ortiz and Brandon Rios would meet this summer in a grudge match, but that will have to wait. Instead, Ortiz has confirmed a September 30 fight against John Molina Jr, scheduled for 10 rounds, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
As far as replacements go, it’s not bad at all.
“We’ve known each other a long time and we’re always in exciting battles, so fans should expect nothing less on September 30,” said 31-year-old Ortiz. “I had a broken eye socket from an injury in the second round of the (Devon) Alexander fight, but I’m feeling 100 percent now. I’m ready to take what is rightfully mine and that’s another world title down the road. It’s going to be a war from round one and I can’t wait.”
In February, Ortiz, 32-6-3 (25), was considered lucky to come away with a draw following 12 rounds in the company of Devon Alexander. Before that, he’d fought just three times in three years.
Thirty-five-year-old Molina Jr, meanwhile, has yet to compete in 2018, but has won three of his last four fights, losing only to Terence Crawford, and was last seen knocking out Ivan Redkach in four rounds.
“I respect Victor and everything he’s accomplished in the game, but I know I have the tools to overcome everything he does,” said Molina, 30-7 (24). “Everyone knows that I’m in it to win it. We’re both going to be ready to mix it up and throw bombs. There is no way that I see this fight going the distance. It’s going to come down to heart, and I’m going to be there until (the) final bell.”
It’s not Ortiz vs. Rios, no. But, given the way both are talking, it might not be too far off.