By Matt Lieberman: Mikey Garcia would like to see a rematch between Teofimo Lopez and Vasyl Lomachenko after the two-time Olympic gold medalist gets a win or two under his belt.
Mikey says Lomachenko’s shoulder injury he came into the Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) fight on October 17th isn’t enough for him to be given a rematch. Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) has to start winning again to show that a second fight with Lopez is needed.
Garcia isn’t sure whether the preexisting shoulder injury that Lomachenko had played a part in the outcome for his unification contest at 135 against Lopez.
Lomachenko needs to return to the ring quickly
For Lomachenko, he’ll need to get back in the ring soon to get a win under his belt to entice Teofimo, 23, to give him a rematch.
The undisputed IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo could move up to the 140-pound division soon after the Josh Taylor vs. Jose Ramirez winner.
Teofimo will likely be done with the 135-pound division once he leaves it, and that means no rematch with Lomachenko. If Loma had more size, he could follow Lopez by going up to light-welterweight, but he’s too small to do that.
Mikey: Lomachenko’s injury isn’t enough for a rematch
“I felt that [Teofimo] Lopez had a much better chance than people were giving him,” said Mikey Garcia to Fighthype. “Whether the [right-shoulder] injury [to Lomachenko] played a role, I don’t know.
“Ask Loma for that one. I don’t know. If I say, ‘No,’ people are going to talk s***. If I say, ‘Yes,’ people are going to talk s***.
“He [Lomachenko] didn’t win the fight. It happens. He may have been hurt badly, I don’t know the severity of it, so I can’t comment on it.
“I would like to see a rematch. If Loma were able to fight one or two fights to show that he’s 100% or a different fighter than what we saw that night, yeah, he deserves a rematch.
“I don’t think the injury is enough for him to deserve a rematch. If that were the case, then all the fighters would get rematches. It’s hardly ever when you’re 100%. You always have issues here and there. That injury could be bad,” said Mikey.
The former four-division world champion Mikey isn’t giving Lomachenko a lot of sympathy about his injury excuse, but he’s right. If Loma was injured, he should have pulled out of the fight rather than putting himself in the position where he’d be giving Teofimo an advantage.
The chances of a rematch between Teofimo and Lomachenko are slim, and maybe that’s a good thing. Lomachenko shouldn’t lose again to Teofimo if he wants to preserve his career.
Teofimo is now a mini-star, which could come crashing down quickly if he faces a healthy Lomachenko, who will fight a lot harder from the start of the fight than last time.
Garcia predicts Tank Davis vs. Santa Cruz fight
“I’m looking forward to that one,” said Mikey of the Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz fight. “A lot of it comes down to how Tank makes weight. If he makes weight comfortably and can hydrate well, then the smarter money goes with Tank.
“But if he struggles, and I think he is because he has in the past, and that’s why he moved up in weight. If he struggles and has difficulty making weight, then I think Leo has a better chance at that point.
“Either way, I think it’s going to be a very good fight. Leo is always in good fights. He’s always going to come as the aggressor, lots of volume. Tank is strong, but I don’t think he can hurt Leo.
“Tank will probably try and outbox Leo for this fight, but it won’t be an easy fight for either one. I think it’ll go the distance. Leo isn’t one to get hurt. He’s a strong guy physically. He can take a good punch, and he gives a good fight.
“He’s strong physically. He’s never been hurt. I don’t think he’s ever been dropped. I don’t think he’ll [Tank Davis] will stop him. And I think it’ll go the distance regardless of the outcome,” said Mikey.
Tank looks like he’s going to make weight, but we don’t know how much energy he’ll have on Saturday night. Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) moves back down to 130 to take on Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) for his WBA super featherweight title at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Both fighters are at a disadvantage to some extent. Santa Cruz isn’t a legitimate 130-pounder, as he doesn’t look big or strong enough for the division. Davis has outgrown the 130-lb division, and it’s taken a lot for him to return to the weight class.