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Vasyl Lomachenko wants Mikey Garcia fight

Mikey Garcia Vasiliy Lomachenko

By Dan Ambrose: Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) says he’s very interested in facing WBC World lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) in a fight. Lomachenko says he’s as motivated for the Mikey fight as he was in winning his 2 Olympic gold medals in the past. Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum says he’s open to making the Lomachenko-Garcia fight after one more fight.

It’s unclear whether Mikey, 29, would be willing to face Lomachenko, because it would be a tough match-up for him. Mikey has never fought anyone technical and crafty like Lomachenko before.

Lomachenko has a fight on April 8 against Jason Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) on HBO Championship Boxing at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA. This is a perfect warm-up fight for Lomachenko to get ready for Mikey if the fight can be made. Sosa is a former WBA lightweight champion with a lot of punching power, and a great chin.

“Very similar to how I wanted to get 2 gold medals in the Olympics,”said Lomachenko when asked if he’s interested in fighting Mikey Garcia. “I want to win the fight. It’s a lot of motivation for us in this fight, and it will be a great and interesting fight,”said Lomachenko about the Mikey Garcia fight.

Mikey and Lomachenko are both 5’6”, and close to the same weight. Mikey has a 2 ½” reach advantage over Lomachenko, but that’s about it. Lomachenko can obviously deal with Mikey’s longer reach, as we saw with his 7th round stoppage over the long-armed Nicholas Walters last November. Walters had a 7 ½” reach advantage over Lomachenko, and it didn’t help him.

Lomachenko and Mikey have a common opponent in Orlando Salido. Lomachenko was beaten by Salido by a 12 round split decision in 2014 in his second fight as a pro. Mikey defeated Salido by an 8 round technical decision in 2013. The fight was stopped after Mikey suffered a broken nose from a clash of heads in the 8th. It looked Salido was starting to get to Mikey at the time the fight was halted. Mikey had knocked Salido down 3 times earlier in the fight, but his power was not there for him by the 8th.

Salido was starting to land his shots. The fight looked like it was starting to turn in Salido’s favor. Rather than continue to fight, Mikey chose to have the fight stopped because of his broken nose. Salido pointed out that he had broken nose too, and he wasn’t asking for the fight to be stopped. During the fight, Mikey was holding his left arm far out in front of him and using to push Salido to keep him from getting close to throw his shots. The referee failed to address this to keep Mikey from using what was arguably an illegal tactic. The referees are supposed to take points off when a fighter holds his left arm far out in front of them in order to push their opponents. If Mikey uses that same tactic against Lomachenko, the referee is going to need to step in and warn him about it, because that’s bending the rules.

“I think that would be a great fight,” said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in taking about Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia. “I know that Robert [Garcia] and Mikey will be talking to us about an earlier fight, then the [Garcia vs. Lomachenko] fight. Yeah, that’s possible. Manny might be a little too big for Lomachenko at this point. It’s a fascinating fight,” said Arum.

Mikey beat Dejan Zlaticanin by a 3rd round knockout in his last fight in January to win the World Boxing Council lightweight title. It was an impressive performance from Mikey.

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