Mikey Garcia: Lomachenko beat weaker & smaller fighters

By Boxing News - 10/25/2020 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia predicted the success Teofimo Lopez had in beating pound-for-pound fighter Vasily Lomachenko on October 17th in Las Vegas.

Mikey says the former three-division world champion Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) beat weaker and smaller fighters during his career.

Loma started to run into problems when he moved up to 135 and began fighting guys like Jorge Linares and taking punishment.

Mikey states that the 23-year-old Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) utilized his superior size and speed against the smaller Lomachenko.

Mikey didn’t say that many boxing fans believe that he ducked Lomachenko when the two of them fought at 135 at the same time in 2017. After Mikey captured the WBC lightweight title in 2017 in defeating Dejan Zlaticanin, he could have stayed at 135 and pushed for a fight against Lomachenko.

Instead, Mikey moved up to 140 and beat Sergey Lipinets and Adrien Broner. When Mikey briefly returned to the 135-lb division, he defeated Robert Easter Jr. Mikey didn’t fight Lomachenko, and that was the guy that boxing fans wanted to see him fight. The question is, why didn’t Mikey fight Loma?

Mikey predicted Teofimo would do well against Loma

Image: Mikey Garcia: Lomachenko beat weaker & smaller fighters

“I felt that Lopez had a good chance of winning,” said Mikey Garcia to DAZN on the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo fight. “The way I saw that fight coming around, I’ve seen Lomachenko work great angles, but he’s always been able to show that against weaker opposition, smaller fighters.

“The moment he stepped up against Linares, he had a little bit of difficulties with Linares with his experience, and he’s a terrific fighter.

“I felt that if other guys were able to hit Lomachenko, tag him up and get him bruised up, then Teofimo being the younger, bigger, stronger guy, he should definitely have a chance.

“And I was rooting for Lopez, and he did exactly what I expected him to do, using the size, use the speed, and overpower Lomachenko. Lomachenko is the smaller fighter naturally, and I think that’s where Lopez could capitalize and benefit the most.

“We saw a star [Teofimo] being born with Lomachenko taking the loss. Teofimo takes that spot, takes that moment, and does everything well. I did have the scorecards a little bit closer. I think Lomachenko may have won three or four rounds, but I saw Lopez dominate the entire night. So congratulations to Lopez; he did great.

“He’s definitely shown that he’s one of the best at the moment, and I think he’s going to do great things. He’s shown it against the best guy at the moment with Lomachenko,” Mikey said of Teofimo.

Before fighting Teofimo, Lomachenko beat bigger fighters at 130 with his wins over Jose Pedraza, Jorge Linares, Luke Campbell, and Anthony Crolla. It’s not like Lomachenko was defeating smaller fighters at 135.

Linares, Pedraza, and Campbell aren’t weak fighters. Those are good ones, and they gave Lomachnko excellent fights at lightweight.

We don’t know what would have happened if Lomachenko was 100% healthy for his fight against Teofimo Lopez this month. Loma fought with an injured right shoulder, which is clearly the reason he didn’t throw punches in the first half of the contest.

Garcia views Gamboa as a good test for Haney

Image: Mikey Garcia: Lomachenko beat weaker & smaller fighters

“That’s a good match-up for Haney because when you want to build up a fighter, you want to put them in with experienced champions and guys that are experienced and still a threat,” Garcia said about Haney’s November 7th fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa.

“Gamboa fought very well last year against Tank Davis, which showed that he still has plenty. I think that’s a good match-up for Haney. I think Haney wins the fight. Haney has got a lot of talent, a lot of speed, he’s young, and he’s hungry.

“But this is one of those tests where it helps a fighter develop. So I think Devin Haney, I saw him a long time ago when he was up and coming, and I thought, ‘he’s going to be a great fighter.’ He’s got the skills.

“Let’s develop that, and these are the type of fights that will help a fighter develop,” said Mikey.

Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) is trying to fight against Teofimo Lopez for 2021. If Haney, 21, beats former IBF/WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) in their fight on November 7th, he has a good chance of fighting Lopez next year.

You can’t rule out a win for the 38-year-old Gamboa over Haney, as he’s faster, more powerful, and a lot more experienced. Haney can’t punch and has moderate speed. He’s just bigger than Gamboa, who doesn’t belong at 135.

Haney will likely be over his head if he faces Teofimo, and we’ll see another dull 12 round decision. If that fight does happen, it would be nice to see Teofimo take some risks by coming forward instead of hiding behind his Philly shell guard and imitate Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Teofimo’s made it boring against Lomachenko because he fought a safety-first type of fight, and he took no chances whatsoever of scoring a knockout.

Mikey says Team Pacquiao still interested

Image: Mikey Garcia: Lomachenko beat weaker & smaller fighters

“The original plan was to get back into the ring in July,” continued Mikey. “The plan was to fight Manny Pacquiao this July and have a big event, but then with this COVID hitting, it really stumped everything. So things have been very quiet.

“I have had some contact with the [Manny Pacquiao] team, and they’re still is some interest with Manny Pacquiao to fight me shortly, but there’s no say when,” said Mikey.

Mikey has been banging the drum for a fight against WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao for well over a year, but it seems to be only unilateral interest. Pacquiao, 41, hasn’t spoken up to the boxing media saying anything about fighting the 32-year-old Mikey.

It doesn’t look like Pacquiao will ever fight Mikey, and it’s forlorn for him to continue to keep talking about the fight. It gives some boxing fans the impression that Mikey is just looking for a cash-out and not serious about his career any longer. Instead of talking about fighting Pacquiao all the time, Mikey needs to start beating contenders at 147. He still hasn’t done that.

In Mikey’s recent win at welterweight against 2nd tier fighter Jessie Vargas, he beat a non-contender, clearly over-the-hill. Vargas was arguably a paper champion when he won the WBO welterweight title in 2016, and he promptly lost it in his first defense against Pacquiao. Since that fight, Vargas’ career has been in a freefall, going nowhere.

If Mikey wanted to prove to the boxing fans that he deserves another title shot at 147, he would have fought and beaten one of these contenders:

  • Keith Thurman
  • Yordenis Ugas
  • Vergil Ortiz Jr
  • Danny Garcia
  • Shawn Porter

Does Mikey deserve another title shot at 147?

Image: Mikey Garcia: Lomachenko beat weaker & smaller fighters

Is it too much to ask for Mikey to prove himself against at least one of those contenders? How about Mikey fighting Vergil Ortiz Jr? If Mikey beat Ortiz Jr, boxing fans would have no problems with him challenging Pacquiao for his WBA welterweight title.

But the only win Mikey has at welterweight was against Jessie Vargas, who isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any sanctioning bodies. The reason for that is because Vargas’ win over a solid contender at 147 came against Sadam Ali in 2016. Vargas’ since then have come against these fighters:

  • Humberto Soto – 40-year-old former lightweight champion
  • Aaron Herrera – journeyman

Those are the only two wins for Vargas since 2016. So it was pointless for Mikey to use him as an opponent to prove himself at 147. Surprisingly, the WBA has Mikey ranked #2 and WBC #3 at welterweight despite not having beaten anyone good yet.

Mikey’s other fight at 147 came against IBF champion Errol Spence Jr in 2019, which wasn’t a competitive match. Spence totally dominated Mikey and made it look easy. Now Mikey is trying to talk himself into another world title shot at 147 without proving himself by beating an actual top ten contender.

It’ll be interesting to see if one of the champions throws Mikey a bone by giving him an undeserved title shot. In some respects, Mikey has become the new Adrien Broner. He’s a fighter trying to hustle world title shots at 147 without proving himself by beating contenders to earn the fights.

It would be better for Mikey to forget about trying to talk his way into a fight with Pacquiao, and focus more on beating some actual contenders at 147. Thus far, Mikey’s record at welterweight is 1-1 since moving up to that weight class in 2019.

Mikey looks small, slow, and weak for the 147-lb division. Also, he doesn’t throw enough punches to work past his speed and size deficits. The smaller fighters at 147 need speed or a high work rate for them to succeed.

For example, Shawn Porter uses his aggressive high volume punch attack to win his fights against bigger guys in the welterweight division. Mikey still has the same economical style that he had when he started his carer at 126 in 2006.

Image: Mikey Garcia: Lomachenko beat weaker & smaller fighters

With the hand speed and the power that Mikey had for that weight class, he was able to get away with throwing few punches. Additionally, Mikey was able to do well at 130 and 135 with his economical style, but he clearly can’t do that at 147.

Mikey did win a couple of fights at 140 in beating Adrien Broner and Sergey Lipinets, but those weren’t elite fighters for that weight class.

If Mikey had fought the talented light-welterweights like Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, Jose Zepeda, or Jose Ramirez, the chances are high that he’d have lost to all of them. He doesn’t throw enough punches to beat the elite level fighters at 140 or 147.