I spent a little over two days without checking in online at all. When I came back on Wendesday afternoon, my social media feed was buzzing about Mikey Garcia’s assertion that he would be willing to jump two divisions to face WBA and WBC welterweight title holder Keith Thurman.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for this one, though. The interview that launched all this chin wagging comes courtesy of Fightype.com. It is pretty clear that Garcia “calling out” Thurman is more of a throw-away line of something he would like to do, if he had all the time in the world.
It was offered up in the context of a discussion about becoming the undisputed champion at lightweight. A week ago, Mikey’s older brother and trainer, Robert, was quoted in BoxingScene, talking about two potential unification fights that the WBC belt holder would like to make this year. It is almost a throw-away line.
I do not think Garcia would have said it if he did not mean it. I have interviewed him myself and watched a lot of other interviews with him. He does not strike me as somebody who speaks carelessly. I do think he is floating the idea out there, to see what comes of it. As matchups go, that would be a big opportunity for Garcia.
Moving from 135 to 147 to face Keith Thurman would be a challenge for the former featherweight. But I’ve always expected Garcia would eventually collect belts at 140, if not at full welterweight. I doubt he would be the same dangerous puncher at 147 that he has been from 126 to 135. But I would give him a big technical edge over Thurman.
Thurman is a very good fighter and size matters in boxing. So this would be a fight that would let Garcia prove he is truly great. If he could move up and beat Thurman, he would deserve a spot high on any credible pound-for-pound ranking.