Mikey Garcia: I’m close to becoming a PPV star
By Chris Williams: WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) says he’s possibly 3 fights away from becoming a pay-per-view star in boxing if he can get the right fights. Garcia is what he believes the first step to him achieving PPV stardom with his fight with IBF 140 lb. champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) on February 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The fight will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing.
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)
Mikey understands that the 140-lb. division doesn’t have enough big names for him to become a big attraction. For that reason, Mikey says he’ll move back down to 135 and try ad line up big fights against WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares and then Vasyl Lomachenko. Mikey if he doesn’t achieve PPV status that point, he’ll move up to 147 and look for the biggest fights in that weight class.
“We’re on the right track,” said Mikey to Fighthub about him close to becoming a PPV star. “A few fights from now we might be that star that people will expect. We’re making the right moves. We’re trying to secure the great fights, the world title fights. After this, we can probably secure the [Jorge] Linares fight or another unification match at 130 or 140. Those are the fights that will lead me to pay-per-view status,” said Garcia.
For Mikey to become a star in pay-per-view, he’ll need to make the right moves by facing the best. That means Lomachenko, Linares, Robert Easter Jr. and Terry Flanagan. I’m not sure that Lomachenko is a big enough name to turn Mikey into a PPV star. He might need to move up to 147 and take on the talented guys like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum might be willing to let Mikey fight Terence Crawford at 147, because he would likely be favored. That would be a tough division for Mikey to crack.
It’s safe to say that idea of Mikey moving up to welterweight would be the last resort on his part. It would be the nuclear option for Mikey. The 135 and 140 lb. divisions are so empty of talent, it would require that Mikey fight Lomachenko 3 or 4 times for him to become a PPV star in my view. Mikey has doubts whether Arum will ever let him fight Lomachenko, and he could be right. This means Mikey would need to move up to 147 for him to become a PPV star. Mikey’s power didn’t carry to 140 in his last fight against Adrien Broner last summer on July 29. Mikey couldn’t KO Broner, and he looked tired in the later rounds.
“There’s not many fighters out there doing that,” said Mikey about champions not wanting to fight unification matches or move up in weight. “There are champions that are doing well, but they’re not taking chances that I am. I think we’re going to be there soon. I think in a few fights we will be at the pay-per-view level. For pay-per-view, you’ve got to have the right partner and the right name. Until we have that, it’s hard to tell. You need the right guy in order to sell. I do think very soon I will be on PPV shows. Right now, taking on Lipinets first, followed by Linares would do very, very well for me and my career. After that, we’re close to the next one at PPV. At 140, there’s not a whole lot at the moment. The one that was there was [Terence] Crawford, but now he’s at 147. So, maybe we come back to 135 and try and secure he [Vasyl] Lomachenko fight at 135. By then, he might already be there. That could possibly land on pay-per-view. If not, I might have to move up to 147. At 147, you’ve got a big pool of names,” said Mikey.
It’s difficult to picture Mikey turning into a PPV start without him moving up in weight to the welterweight division. Even Oscar De La Hoya had to move up to welterweight before he became a PPV star during his career. The last really popular fighter below the 147-lb. division was Julio Cesar Chavez. He had a huge fan base in the U.S and in Mexico. Garcia is from the U.S, and he doesn’t have the same kind of popularity in Mexico as Chavez had, even though he’s done things that he didn’t do in moving up in weight and winning titles.
In Mikey’s case, I think there’s a good chance that he won’t achieve PPV status until he makes the move to 147. I think he should stick around at 135 and 140 and see what Lomachenko is going to do. If Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum doesn’t allow him to take the fight with Mikey, then he needs to move up to 147. 140 is a ghost town now, totally devoid of talented fighters. The 147-lb. division is the only place Mikey has any chance of becoming a PPV star. But that division lacks superstars as well right now. Thurman, Spence, Crawford and Jeff Horn aren’t PPV stars.
”I think any of the names at 147 would land on pay-per-view if I accomplish what I’m trying to accomplish now. I’m not looking at 147 right away. I might have to, but that would maybe be another year. If I do go to 147, there will be big chances in training to fill into the division. I also have to be smart. I’m not going to be looking for a knockout as much, because I might not be able to score a knockout. So, I have to make some changes, fight smarter. These are the fights that will be on a pay-per-view scale and the fight fans will be very excited to see me with those welterweights. I just need to take the right step at the right time,” said Mikey.
If it looks like Lomachenko isn’t going to agree to fight him by next year, then Mikey should make the move to 147, and see if he’s got enough power for that weight class to succeed. I’m not sure if Mikey will have enough size to beat the best guys in the weight class. Mikey will need to be able to beat Thurman, Porter, Spence and Crawford for him to become a PPV attraction.
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