Mikey Garcia wants Errol Spence Jr. fight in December
By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia says he wants to take on IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. in December if possible. Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) wants a big fight and talking on the 28-year-old Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) would provide him that.
Whether Garcia is serious or not is unknown. Thus far, Garcia has fought twice in the 140lb weight class against Adrien Broner and Sergey Lipinets, but neither of those guys have the kind of size and punching power that Spence has. It’ll be a difficult step up in class for Mikey if he does move up to welterweight, given how big of a puncher Spence is.
Garcia, 30, is in negotiations with Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn to possibly sign with him. Mikey says he had productive talks with Hearn and was given an “aggressive offer” to ink with him. Mikey sounds like he’s very interested in potentially signing with him. If Hearn can add Mikey to his promotional stable, he’d have his first superstar U.S fighter. Hearn currently promotes former WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs, but he’s not a big star and he’s starting to look like he’s fading as a fighter since his fight with Gennady Golovkin in 2017.
”I want it in December,” Mikey said to ES News Reporting about a fight against IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr.
It’s unlikely Mikey will take the fight with Spence in December, unfortunately. Mikey’s brother/trainer Robert Garcia says he thinks the Spence fight will take place in two or three years from now. A fight against WBA lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is expected to happen before Mikey looks to move up to welterweight to face Spence. However, Lomachenko is having surgery on Wednesday to fix a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and he’s going to be out of action until at least December 8. If Lomachenko does come back on that date, his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank wants him to fight WBO 135lb champion Ray Beltran. Arum is not mentioning Mikey’s name. It’s probable that Mikey won’t get a shot at fighting Lomachenko until 2019. So, if Mikey does want to move up in weight to fight Spence in December, he can do that if there’s interest from Errol’s side in making the fight.
Spence has a fight next month against his IBF mandatory Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) on June 16 on Showtime Championship Boxing at The Ford Cener at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Although the fight is a mandatory for Spence, it’s expected to be an easy one for him. If Mikey is serious about wanting to fight Spence, he’ll have the opportunity to negotiate a fight with him once he’s done with Ocampo, as he doesn’t have any other options right now aside from waiting for the winner of the Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter fight. Spence says he’s been offered to fight the winner of that match. That would be a big fight as well for Spence.
Mikey didn’t look that good in his fight against former IBF World light welterweight champion Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs). Mikey beat Lipinets by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the IBF 140lb title, but he took a lot of heavy shots from the Kazakhstan fighter in the process of winning the fight. Mikey’s face was badly marked up from the punches that Lipinets landed. In contrast, Lipinets’ face didn’t look marked up at all, which is a sign that Mikey’s power didn’t carry up with him to the 140lb division. Mikey recently vacated the IBF light welterweight title shortly after being ordered by the International Boxing Federation to defend it against mandatory challenger Ivan Baranchyk, which would have likely been another grueling fight for Mikey on the same level as Lipinets. Mikey let the IBF know that he plans on moving back down to lightweight to defend his WBC strap. In his next fight, Mikey plans on facing IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. this summer. There still isn’t a date for the fight yet, but July or August is two of the months when it could happen. The venue is expected to be the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
“He did modify his offer, and gave me some options,” Mikey said to ES News Reporting about his meeting with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. “I see some good positive things working with him, but there are some other questions I need to sort out. He did make a good strong proposal. You’re talking serious numbers. He’s going aggressive. He’s being aggressive. That helps. That helps fighters make more money,” Mikey said.
Under his guidance, Hearn believes he can turn Mikey into one of the biggest stars in world boxing. Nevertheless, Mikey will probably need to give up on his dream of moving up two weight classes to fight Errol Spence Jr. Hearn isn’t known for putting his fighters in risky fights in which they’re the underdogs. When Hearn does make fights, his fighters are often the A-side and favored to win. When there are any chances of them losing, Hearn looks to gain an advantage. One way of doing that is to have his fighters staying at home in the UK. Hearn is trying to do that in the negotiations between his fighter IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC champion Deontay Wilder. If Mikey fights a dangerous guy like Spence, Hearn will probably be looking to have it stages in Los Angeles, so that the boxing fans will be a pro-Mikey. I’m not sure that’ll be enough to carry Mikey to victory, however, because Spence brings his own judges to his fights in the form of his two fists. He makes sure that only his two judges decide the outcome, not the three judges assigned by a State Commission. Spence knocks most of his opponents out, so there’s very little chance of the judges being able to take away one of his victories from him.
Hearn has competition from other promoters and management. For Hearn to sign Mikey, he’s likely going to need to outbid Dana White and Al Haymon. Hearn has the money with his DAZN platform to sign Mikey. The only question is does he want to throw a massive amount of money in signing Mikey? As good as Mikey is, he’s arguably behind Lomachenko in talent at lightweight. Mikey probably isn’t going to be able to be able to beat the best fighters at 140 if he moves back to that weight class. Guys like Regis Prograis, Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor are probably too big and too strong for Mikey. So, for Mikey to have continued success in the next three years, he’s going to need to stay at lightweight and do his best to stay on top.
One good thing that could come out of Mikey potentially signing with Eddie Hearn is the British promoter will keep him very busy fighting three times a year if he lets him. Hearn wants his fighters to be fighting three times a year, as he sees this as the perfect model for creating superstars out of them. He believes his fighters need to be seen as much as possible for them to become household names. Middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin has proven that by fighting three to four times a year over a short period of time, it’s possible to become a superstar quickly in the U.S. Golovkin has done it without a having a huge build in fan base like Saul Canelo Alvarez has with his Mexican boxing fans in the U.S. Golovkin doesn’t have millions of his Kazakhstan fans to support him in the U.S. GGG has done it the hard way by winning over the U.S fans that don’t have historical roots with Eastern Europe.
“You never do that,” Mikey said about Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner posting the offer that was given to him by Hearn on his Instagram account.“
Mikey didn’t like the way Broner, 28, poste the financial offer given to him by Hearn on his social media site last week, as he felt that was not a smart business move on his part. Mikey feels that Broner should have worked it out in private with Hearn and made a counter offer to him rather than trying to embarrass him by posting his offer on his Instagram. It makes a lot more sense for Hearn to sign Mikey Garcia than it does to sign Broner. Mikey has the potential to be a world champion for a lot more years as long as he stays at 135. For Broner’s part, I think he’s pretty much done at 28. Broner isn’t going to win a world title ever again at 147 now that the division is stocked with talent. At 140, Broner isn’t going to beat guys like Regis Prograis, Jose Ramirez, and he’ll probably lose to the likes of Terry Flanagan and Ivan Baranchyk as well. Mikey is the better investment for Hearn. Hearn needs to come up with the money to get Mikey to sign with him. Once he does sign, then Mikey needs to be matched frequently to have him fight three times per year. Mikey would have already been a superstar by now if he hadn’t been inactive for 2 ½ years with his promotional problems with Top Rank from 2014 to 2016. Even after Mikey did come back in 2016, he only ought once in that year and twice in 2017. This year, Mikey has fought just once. He needs to be fighting all the time to quickly become the superstar that he and Hearn wants him to be.