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Arum: Mikey Garcia will probably quit against Lomachenko

Guillermo Rigondeaux Mikey Garcia Vasiliy Lomachenko

By Juan Flores: Unbeaten lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) will likely quit against Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs), says Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. He says Garcia will last long enough against Lomachenko until the point where he’s on the verge of being knocked out, and then he’ll quit to get out of the fight.

Arum was gleeful last Saturday night after Lomachenko made previously unbeaten pound-for-pound star Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-1, 11 KOs) quit after the 6th round in their fight on ESPN from Madison Square Garden in New York. Rigondeaux, 37, said he quit because of a hand injury to his left hand. Arum thinks the Cuban quit to get out of the fight to keep from getting knocked out. We’ll never know for sure unless Rigondeaux presents X-trays of his injured left hand. Without the proof of the injury, it’s Rigondeaux will be viewed as a quitter to some in the boxing world. It’ll have to be a bad injury for Rigondeaux to escape criticism. The damage is already done though. Fans already assume Rigondeaux quit to get out of the Lomachenko fight.

”Maybe Mikey Garcia,” said Lomachenko, when asked who he wants to fight next.

Garcia, 29, has been waiting for over a year Lomachenko to move up in weight to the lightweight division so the two of them can face each other. Lomachenko said recently that he needs to move up and get acclimatized in the lightweight division before he can fight Mikey Garcia. Rigondeaux moved up 2 weight classes to fight Lomachenko last Saturday without getting acclimatized. If Lomachenko has to burn up another year getting accustomed to the 135 lb. weight class before he can finally face Mikey, the fight probably won’t get done. Micky is already leaning in the direction of moving up to light welterweight. He can’t wait on Lomachenko forever.

”You’ve got to pay these guys a lot of money. They’re not stupid,” said Arum to the boxing media about getting Lomachenko a fight against Mikey Garcia. ”They’re good fighters. Garcia is a good fighter. [Jorge] Linares is a good fighter. But ask them deep down if they have a chance with this guy [Lomachenko], and they’ll tell you, ‘No.’ You’re not dealing with a regular fighter here. You’re dealing with a scientist when it comes to boxing,” said Arum in hyping Lomachenko.

Arum is likely to match Lomachenko against Ray Beltran in early 2018. Arum wants Lomachenko to win a world title and then face Mikey. it would be better for the boxing fans if Lomachenko showed some courage and took the fight with Mikey right away rather than taking baby steps before taking the fight by looking to slowly work his way into the match. That’s one of the reasons the fight between Lomachenko and Manny Pacquiao never happened. Lomachenko wanted to slowly build his way up to light welterweight instead of moving up the way Rigondeaux did in fighting him.

The argument that some boxing fans have with Lomachenko is he’s not willing to take the same risks his smaller opponents are. It’s fine for Rigondeaux to move up 2 weight clases to fight the best fighter in the 130 lb. division, but Lomachenko won’t move up even 1 division to fight the best fighter in that weight class right away in Mikey Garcia. Ultimately, Lomachenko will slow his own career down by moving at too gradual of a pace for him to fight the best fighters in those weight classes.

Lomachenko could have already moved up 2 weight classes and fought Pacquiao and Terence Crawford and made tons of money. Lomachenko’s purse for the Rigondeaux fight was $1.2 million. Lomachenko could have made much more than that by moving up 2 weight classes to fight Pacquiao and Crawford. Lomachenko played it safe by staying at super featherweight and fighting Rigondeaux, Manuel Marriaga and Jason Sosa in his last 3 fights.

”Garcia is an excellent fighter. He’ll hang with him until he’s ready to be knocked out, and then he’ll probably quit,” said Arum in predicting that Miky Garcia will quit against Lomachenko. ”Even with a 135 pounder, nobody is going the distance with this guy. You’ve got to have a real ballsy 135 pounder; a guy that wants to get a nice paycheck, and knows if he loses his career isn’t over. Who’s going to beat this guy,” said Arum about Lomachenko. “Come on, he’s really special.”

It’s difficult to picture Mikey Garcia quitting against Lomachenko. Mikey is the type that will go down with the ship rather than taking the easy way out of the fight based off an injury. He’s not going to quit, and he won’t have to quit because he’s got the talent to make it tough on Lomachenko.

Mikey could spoil the party for Arum by beating Lomachenko next year and showing that he’s not another Muhammad Ali like he says he is. If Lomachenko takes the fight with Mikey and loses, it’s going to have Arum trying to explain to the boxing media why his fighter lost again. Lomachenko already lost to Orlando Salido in 2014. The excuses were flying by Lomachenko’s boxing fans after that defeat.

Rigondeaux had success against Lomachenko in the 1st round before he suffered a hand injury. Once the hand injury occurred, Rigondeaux was no longer able to use his left hand. It was all downhill from that point on for the Cuban fighter.

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