Former two-divisional world champion Mikey Garcia has not seen action inside the ring since January 25th of this year. That night he easily dominated Juan Carlos Burgos over twelve rounds to defend his then WBO super featherweight belt at the mecca of boxing, New York’s Madison Square Garden. At that time a productive 2014 was expected from the young twenty-six year old. Talks of him fighting a couple more times and then going up in weight to challenge Manny Pacquiao were even swirling around. All that came to a halt when Garcia decided to go into litigation with his promoter Top Rank which forced his career into a standstill.
An interesting fight against Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa on HBO went to the wayside when Garcia couldn’t reach an agreement with Bob Arum and in his stead Terrence Crawford stepped in and defeated Gamboa in a thrilling fight in Nebraska back in June. Just recently Garcia even had to relinquish his title since he has not seen any action and also took the opportunity to announce that he would be going up in weight once again. At first it was said that he might be going up all the way to light welterweight but then that was quickly rescinded when he said he would only be going up the five pounds to the lightweight division.
No change in his status was in sight until just this week his brother and co-trainer, Robert Garcia, announced that the return for Garcia would be much quicker than expected and we could probably see him inside a squared circle as soon as early 2015.
Ranked as the very best in the super featherweight division, it can only be expected that Garcia would be rated at least in the top three at 135 pounds. The division is wide open for somebody like Garcia who is one of the most popular newest stars in the sport and would more than likely look to face a world champion soon.
The WBC lightweight champion is Omar Figueroa but just this week the World Boxing Council made Figueroa the champion in recess since a cut he suffered in his last fight got infected and he needs more time to recuperate. The council ordered the two highest contenders, Jorge Linares of Venezuela and Mexico’s Javier Prieto in Japan by the end of the year. It is safe to assume that Garcia would have no trouble with either one but a match up against Linares, a two-divisional champion in his own right, woud be more enticing.
Easier pickings for Garcia would be either the WBA champion Richar Abril and the IBF’s Mickey Bey. Abril has not been in a ring in the United States since March of 2013. His layoff between fights was longer than Garcia but he did last fight in September in Finland defending his title against unknown Edis Tatli. Bey beat Miguel Vazquez in September, pretty much a gift for the Al Haymon fighter.
A real challenge would be the current WBO champion, Terrence Crawford. Crawford is not as skilled as Garcia but his physical attributes at the weight class might tilt the scare slightly in his favor. The fact that Crawford is the current champion and has been active while being developed into a ticket seller by Top Rank in Omaha might also stack the deck for him.
2015 might be plenty interesting for Garcia as well as for us fans.