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Arum says Mikey Garcia – Yuriorkis Gamboa fight depends on HBO putting up the money

mikey5By Dan Ambrose: If the proposed May 17th fight between interim WBA lightweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0, 16 KO’s) and unbeaten former two division world champion Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KO’s) is going to happen it’ll depend on if HBO can come up with the money to make it take place, says Mikey’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. He believes he can get the fight put together if HBO can come up with the green to make the fight get made. Both fighters want the fight, and Arum is interested in staging the fight as well.

Arum kind of has to match Mikey up with Gamboa in order to set up a fight with Manny Pacquiao and Mikey in the future. Mikey needs a credible opponent for him to fight, because the only quality fighter he’s faced during his career is Orlando Salido, and their fight failed to go the distance due to Mikey saying he couldn’t breath after he suffered a broken nose in the 8th round. Mikey was fading at the time of the stoppage, and there’s a lot of question marks about what would have happened to Mikey if the fight had gone the full 12 round.

“The fight is do-able, and I’m sure that it will be made, or least I think that it will be made,” Arum said via RingTV. “HBO wants it, and it all depends on if HBO puts up the money. If it happens, it’s going to be at the forum in Los Angeles on May 17…but it’s not finalized yet.”

Gamboa has the skills to mess Arum’s dream of matching Mikey up with Pacquiao. Well, it actually might not wreck things, because Arum has shown to have no qualms about matching fighters coming off of losses with Pacquiao in the past. Both Joshua Clottey and Brandon Rios were coming off of defeats when they were matched against Pacquiao. Shane Mosley was coming off of a 12 round draw and a 12 round defeat when he was paired with Pacquiao in 2011. So it really doesn’t matter a lot if Mikey gets schooled by the Cuban Gamboa, because Arum will likely match Mikey up with Pacquiao regardless. But a loss for Mikey to Gamboa would ruin a ton of interest in a Pacquiao-Mikey fight, because it’s not nearly as interesting for fans to see a fighter who was dominated by Gamboa than it would be if Mikey were able to defeat Gamboa.

Depending on how desperate Arum is in making the Pacquiao-Mikey fight, we could see Mikey get a fight with Pacquiao in either September or early 2015. It would be better for Mikey to at least have one fight in the light welterweight division before Arum throws him into the ring with Pacquiao, because going from lightweight to a fight with Pacquiao at welterweight, would be a recipe for disaster for Mikey and for boxing fans paying to see the mismatch on HBO pay-per-view.

Arum needs to give Mikey at least one test at 140 to see how he does and to make him look more credible with fans. I’d throw Mikey in with WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov in a sink or swim fight. If Mikey can hold off the Siberian Rocky for 12 rounds, then Arum should match him up against Pacquiao. But if Provodnikov runs right through the frail-looking Mikey like a hot knife through butter, then Arum is going to need to re-think his thoughts about the Mike vs. Pacquiao fight. Does he throw Mikey in with Pacquiao anyway off a loss to Provodnikov and figure fans won’t care or does he decide to move Mikey back down to super featherweight where he can fight in safer waters?

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