Mikey Garcia’s potential big year
By James The Grad: In the past I have been successful here on Boxing News 24 determining who would be the Fighter of the Year and while it is still very early to make a prediction I would say Mikey Garcia has the biggest opportunity this year to win Fighter of the Year and catapult to the top of the P4P list. The reason for this is simple, the opponents he could face this year.
Mikey returned from a long layoff and legal battle in July last year facing Elio Rojas which was an introduction to lightweight. He dominated his opponent and then made swift work of Dejan Zlaticanin earlier this year knocking him out in the 2nd round and taking his WBC lightweight title. Zlaticanin had never seen the canvas before. Winning the belt this year makes Mikey a 3 division world champion at the young age of 29, an accomplishment very few fighters on the p4p list have. The one good thing about sanctioning bodies is they make mandatory bouts, Mikey is the mandatory challenger to Jorge Linares’ WBA belt. Linares is not on anyone’s top 10 p4p list but he is a formidable opponent, he is also a 3 division world champion himself. If this fight is made soon Mikey will have won a belt in a new division AND possibly won a unification bout by the end of summer.
Yes I have Garcia beating Linares fairly easy if no bigger name steps in the way of that fight. I don’t see any issues with it getting made considering Linares is a respectable champ that wouldn’t avoid anyone.
Recently there has been discussions of Vasyl Lomanchenko moving up in weight and facing Garcia. Lomanchenko said he was eager to face Mikey in his post-fight interview and shortly after that Garcia posted a brilliant response of a cartoon image of Doc Holiday with a caption that included “Say When” on his Instagram account. For those that have not seen Tombstone go watch it NOW. For those familiar it was understood that Garcia is more than willing to fight Lomanchenko, a highly favored and heralded pugilist despite only having a single digit professional record with one unavenged loss to Orlando Salido; a boxer Mikey put down 5 or 6 times when they fought dominating every single round.
Lomanchenko would be favorite if these two were paired together, despite being the smaller guy with the shorter reach. He would be moving up to face a naturally bigger fighter in Garcia and will have to figure out how to work around Mikey’s stiff jab, stellar defense, and crushing counters; easier said then done. While I think Lomanchenko is a very skilled counter I don’t believe he will be able to deal with Mikey’s power, I could be wrong, but I just believe Mikey is THAT good based on what I have seen from him.
If Garcia can seal these victories within the year of 2017 he is easily fighter of the year and for many he will be the best fighter on the planet.