Last weekend Mikey Garcia won the most high-profile fight of his career, easily out-pointing Adrien Broner. The undefeated, Oxnard, California native has now defeated top contenders in four different divisions, from 126 to 140 pounds.
So he needs to be mentioned for the biggest fights available in the lightweight/super lightweight neighborhood.
Garcia should clearly be the No. 1 rated fighter at 135 pounds. But I would not mind seeing him fight Jorge Linares this year, to lock down a legitimate claim to world championship status.
On either side of Garcia, at 140 and 130 pounds, he is flanked by two of the sport’s top, pound-for-pound stars.
Terence Crawford is the world champion at 140 pounds. If he can get by Julius Indongo later this summer, a superfight with Garcia would be a pay-per-view worthy event.
But at 130 pounds, Vasyl Lomachenko stands as one of the sport’s fastest rising stars. He is 8-1 with six KOs. Despite the brevity of that resume, his fan base swells with each fight. On a media call later this week, he claimed to be less than fully impressed by Garcia’s win over Broner.
That’s about as close as Lomachenko comes to trash talking. I would be delighted to see him attempt to back it up, fighting at 135 pounds.
Both Lomachenko and Crawford are handled by Top Rank. That is a promotional organization that Garcia spent a lot of time fighting in courtrooms over the past several years.
But Garcia is probably the best available opponent for either man, short of Manny Pacquiao agreeing to drop down and fight either man–an event that seems unlikely after his lackluster performance against Jeff Horn last month.
If Crawford is not ready to move to welterweight to chase showdowns with the likes of Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman Jr., Garcia is the best pound-for-pound fighter near him in weight. It is the same situation for Lomochenko, although he could justify a bout with an exciting gunslinger like Miguel Berchelt.
Lomachenko could also gain something from avenging his sole career loss, which came against the rough-housing Orlando Salido in his second professional bout.
It’s worthy noting, of course, that Garcia knocked down Salido three times, en route to a one-sided eight-round technical decision in January 2013.