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Brandon Rios warns Lomachenko about fighting Mikey Garcia

By Chris Williams: Brandon Rios says it’s going to be a much different story when Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) moves up in weight to fight WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs). Rios says Mikey will be too strong and smart for Lomachenko when the two of them face each other.

It’ll be tough on Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank if he loses to Mikey Garcia, because he’s been saying he’s the best fighter since Muhammad Ali. All that praise from Arum on Lomachenko will ring hallow if he gets knocked out by Mikey. It would be Lomachenko’s second loss in his 11-fight pro career. The last time I checked, Ali didn’t lose 2 out of his first 11 fights in his illustrious career. If Arum keeps comparing Lomachenko to Ali after he loses to Mikey, it’s going to sound wretched.

Mikey’s brother Robert Garcia says he plans on coming back down to lightweight to defend his WBC title after he faces IBF World light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets on February 10 in 2018. Mikey is temporarily fighting at 140 to grab Lipinets’ IBF belt, and then he’ll come back down and face Lomachenko if he’s willing to take the fight.

Rios says Lomachenko was much bigger than Guillermo Rigondeaux in his last fight on December 9 in New York. Rigondeaux moved up a couple of weight classes to take the fight with Lomachenko, but he didn’t have the same size as the 2-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine. Rios sees things being different when Lomachenko moves up to 135 to fight Mikey. Lomachenko won’t have the size, speed or the power advantage against Mikey. Lomachenko will be slower, smaller and weaker than Mikey. If Lomachenko is going to win that fight, he’s going to need to out-box Mikey, because he can’t count on crushing him with his size or forcing him to quit. Mikey likely won’t quit the way Lomachenko’s last 3 opponents have done.

”Lomachenko did what he had to do to a little man,” said Brandon Rios to about Lomachenko’s win over Rigondeaux. “He was way smaller than him, but I think it’ll be a different story when it’s Mikey Garcia. I think Mikey is the more stronger and physical guy, and very skillful and smart. I think Mikey takes him,” said Rios.

It’s going to be a compelling fight if Lomachenko faces Mikey in 2018. With Mikey’s power, speed and counter punching ability, he’s going to be very hard for Lomachenko to deal with. One mistake by Lomachenko, and he could be knocked out like Dejan Zlaticanin was against Mikey. That would be a hard lesson for Lomachenko to learn, but that’s what happens when fighters move up in weight and take on a guy that is bigger, stronger and faster than the fighters they’ve faced before. It won’t be the end of Lomachenko’s career if he loses to Mikey. Lomachenko can always move back down to super featherweight and continue to fight guys that he has an advantage over.

”Mikey is coming back down to 135,” said Robert Garcia to Fighthype. “He’s going to come back and defend his [WBC lightweight] title at 135. We want Lomachenko to go up to 135, and that’s when we’ll defend against Lomachenko,” said Robert Garcia.

It’s good to know that Mikey will be moving back down to 135 after the Lipinets fight. Some boxing fans thought Mikey would remain at 140 after he faces Lipinets on February 10.

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