Mikey Garcia should fight at 140 says trainer

By Boxing News - 03/18/2019 - Comments

Image: Mikey Garcia should fight at 140 says trainer

By Allan Fox: Two days after his disappointing loss to Errol Spence Jr. at Arlington, Texas, four division world champion Mikey Garcia is considering moving down in weight from 147 to 135 to resume defending his WBC lightweight title. However, Mikey’s trainer Robert Garcia wants him to move down to light welterweight, according to TMZ. Robert thinks the 140 lb weight class would be a good one for him.

The first question that a lot of boxing fans would want to know is why would Robert want Mikey to move down to 140 rather than 135? If Mikey goes back down to lightweight, he can fight WBA/WBO champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, who is focused on unifying the 135 lb division. If Mikey returns to lightweight, he would have tremendous pressure from the fans for him to face Lomachenko. That’s a fight that Mikey could potentially lose. Lomachenko has a bad style for him.

“I think Mikey has quite a few options. I think moving down to 140 is maybe his best option, but there’s also big fights at 147 he could take,” Robert Garcia said to TMZ.com. “It’s not going to be easy to get back down to 135, especially after he gained all that muscle to fight at 147. I think 140 would be best for him. That would be my advice. But if he stays at 147, he could compete against any of the other champions. Errol Spence was just the best, and very difficult,” Robert said.

It’s probably not the best thing for Mikey to stay at 147. There was nothing wrong with Mikey’s punching power. He showed excellent power in landing some nice shots that froze Spence, making him hesitant to attack in rounds 10, 11 and 12. What Mikey lacks is the height, reach, and the work rate. He doesn’t throw enough punches for him to beat guys like Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao or Keith Thurman. Mikey put weight on for the Spence fight, but he didn’t put enough true muscle on to compete. There was some fat that Mikey put on.

Mikey won a world title at 140 last year in defeating IBF champion Sergey Lipinets by a 12 round unanimous decision in March of 2018. That was far from an easy fight for Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs), as it was a grueling fight in which he took a lot of punishment.

If Mikey listens to Robert and moves down to light welterweight, he would potentially have his best shot at inning another world title in that weight class if he fought WBO champion Maurice Hooker(26-0-3, 17 KOs), who has looked vulnerable at times during his career. Garcia, 31, would have an excellent shot at beating the 5’11” Hooker if he could get passed his long reach. Garcia had little problems dealing with the long reach of 5’11” Robert Easter Jr. in beating him by a wide 12 round unanimous decision last July.

The best fighter in the light welterweight division right now is arguably Regis Prograis, but he’s still involved in the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Prograis won’t be available until the tournament is over with, and that won’t be until 2020. Mikey can go after his old IBF belt against Ivan Baranchyk. Hes supposed to be dropping out of the WBSS tournament. Mikey won’t get a lot of fame from fighting Baranchyk, but he’ll have a shot at winning back his IBF title. It’s doubtful, however, that Garcia would bother fighting Baranchyk, since he vacated his IBF title last year when the sanctioning body ordered him to take the fight with him.

Staying at 147 would mean that Mikey could go after Pacquiao next, and look to take that fight away from Spence. Pacquiao entered the ring with Spence after the fight, and accepted his challenge, but he didn’t look like he had his heart in it. Pacquiao might prefer to fight Mikey, and who would blame him? It’s probably a bigger fight, Pacquiao vs. Mikey. Even with his loss to Spence, Mikey is likely the bigger draw than him.