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Mikey Garcia moving to 147 soon, targeting Thurman & Crawford

By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) says he’ll soon be moving up to 147 to go after Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford and Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman in that weight class. Mikey, 29, says he wants to fight the best, and he feels those 2 are the best.

In the meantime, Garcia will be challenging IBF World light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) for his title on March 10 in a fight that will be televised on Showtime Boxing at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas.

If Mikey is successful in beating the heavy-handed 28-year-old Lipinets, it’ll be his 4th division world title, matching the same number as his last opponent Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner. For Mikey to match former 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao, he’ll need to capture titles at 147, 154, 160 and 168. It’s not probable that he’ll be able to accomplish that task, even if he strategically goes after only the weakest of the belt holders in those divisions.

”Now we’re going for the fourth division at 140 and now I honestly see myself going up to welterweight very soon also,” Mikey said to Fighthub.

Mikey says he’s not looking past his fight with the Belarusian Lipinets on March 10th by talking about wanting to move up to welterweight to take on Crawford and Thurman, but that’s it appears he’s doing. Why else would Mikey be talking up fights against Crawford and Thurman if he wasn’t already considering his fight with Lipinets as a win?

For some reason, Mikey doesn’t mention IBF welterweight champion as one of the champions he’s interested in facing. He only mentions Thurman and Crawford. Mikey might not realize is yet but Crawford isn’t a welterweight champion yet. He has a fight against WBO 147 lb. belt holder Jeff Horn on April 14. Crawford still has win that fight for him to become a champion welterweight.

Mikey seems to be crowning Crawford prematurely as a champion at 147 without him ever having fought in the weight class. Mikey needs to wait for Crawford to prove himself before he starts adding him to the list of champions he wants to face.

”I can guarantee I’m coming to welterweight,” Mikey said. ”I’m coming to 147. I’m coming to 147 whether it’s later this year, next year, I’m coming! And those are the guys [Terence Crawford and Keith Thurman] that are there so who else am I’m going to challenge to make a name for myself in the division? I have to go after the champions and they happen to be champions. So that’s who I’m going to gun for, that’s who I’m going to come for. And they might not take me as serious right now because I’m still lighter in weight class but the time will come and that’s who I’m going to go after,” Mikey said.

There are other champions at 147 other than Thurman. Sorry, I can’t include Crawford as a champion yet no matter what the mistaken Garcia says. He can fight IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. or WBA ‘regular’ champion Lucas Matthysse. The boxing public perceives Spence as the better fighter than Thurman, so perhaps Mikey is intentionally overlooking Spence’s name in a move to steer around him out of respect or fear rather than him feeling he’s not a good fighter.

We’ll see what happens with Mikey in his fight with Lipinets on March 10. Mikey might win, but he’s selected a weak champion to go after rather than waiting to face the winner of the Amir Imam vs. Jose Ramirez. The winner of that fight could be the best fighter in the 140 lb. weight division now that Terence Crawford has vacated his light welterweight titles and moved up to welterweight.

Mikey didn’t look very powerful in his win over Adrien Broner last July at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Mikey landed some decent shots in the first 5 rounds but noting huge that suggests that he’s an immense power puncher in the weight class. The punches weren’t devastating for the 140 lb. weight class like we’d seen from champions in the past for the weight class like Kostya Tszyu. Mikey got tired after 5 rounds and ran from Broner in the last 7 rounds of the contest. The reason the fight wasn’t a total shutout is because Mikey was fatigued before the halfway point in the fight, and he wasn’t willing to stand his ground in the last half of the fight. The judges scored it 116-112, 117-111 and 116-112. Boxing News 24 scored the fight for Mikey by an 8 round to 4 score. He won the fight, but it wasn’t far from being a draw.

If Mikey can’t dominate a faded fighter like Broner, he would have virtually no chance of beating Crawford, Spence and Thurman at 147. Matthysse would be a lot of trouble for Mikey as well, because he’s a good chin and he’ll force Mikey into a war. Even if Mikey ran from Matthysse like he did against Broner. He would get caught by Matthysse over and over and hit with big shots. Mikey doesn’t handle getting hit to the body. Mikey got tired and quit after 8 rounds against Orlando Salido in their fight in January 2013. Mikey fought effectively in the first 6 rounds of the fight, knocking Salido down two in round 1 and once in round 3 and 4. After the 4th, Salido began to land to the body of Mikey more and more and he was starting to break him down when he quit after the 8th round due to a broken nose caused by a head-butt. The body language of Mikey starting in the 5th round was a look of panic. He had hit Salido with his best shots and he couldn’t knock him out. Salido was now ready to get his pound of flesh, and Mikey wanted no part of that. Mikey was running, holding and sticking his left arm way out in front of him to use to push Salido to keep him from getting close enough to land his shots. The referee let Mikey get away with that move, which is illegal. Mikey should have been docked points for extending his left arm far out in front of him to keep Salido from getting close. Even with illegal move, Mikey was worn down and he looked like he was ready to be knocked out.

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