By Dan Ambrose: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is saying that Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) will be dropping back down in weight to defend his WBC lightweight title even though he had been reportedly staying at 140 to defend his IBF light welterweight title.
If Mikey moves back down to 135 permanently, then it must mean that he’s decided that he’s not cut out for fighting at 140 and not good enough to move up to 147 to go after the top fighters in that weight class. Mikey had talked of wanting to win a world title at 147, but all the problems he had beating Sergey Lipinets by a 12 round unanimous decision on March 10th last month, it could be that the 30-year-old California native has had a change of heart.
“Mikey Garcia stays at lightweight, will defend the WBC title and when there is something firm we will announce them,” said Sulaiman to ESPN Deportes.
If Mikey stays at 140, he’ll need to defend against his IBF mandatory challenger 25-year-old Ivan Baranchyk (18-0, 11 KOs). That would be another tough fight for Mikey. His power had no effect on Lipinets, who took Mikey’s best shots and continued to nail him with big punches all night long.
At the end of the fight, Mikey was crowned the new IBF light welterweight title in winning by the scores 116-111, 117-110 and 117-110. The fight was a lot closer than the scores by the three judges in their fight in San Antonio, Texas. Moreover, Mikey’s face was bloody, swollen and it looked lumped up. In truth, Mikey looked like the loser of the fight.
The reason for that is Lipinets was the bigger puncher of the two. Mikey doesn’t have good punching power for the light welterweight division, which isn’t all that surprising given that this is his fourth weight class. Asking Lipinets to move up 4 weight classes and try his power out against guys in the super middleweight division would have the same results. Lipinets’ power wouldn’t carry up four weight divisions to 168. Mikey’s power obviously hasn’t carried to the 140 lb. division.
READ Sulaiman ordering Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter for interim WBC 147lb. title
So, it would make sense for him to give up on his foolish dream of moving up to 147 lb. weight class and trying to win a world title that. If Mikey doesn’t have power at 140, he sure won’t have power at 147. He could get hurt in the welterweight division if he fights the wrong guy, and of the current champions would be the wrong guy, even WBA ‘regular’ belt holder Lucas Matthysse. That guy can punch. WBO champion Jeff Horn is a middleweight disguised as a welterweight, and Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr. are both guys that could be fighting at 154.
If Mikey goes move back down to 135, he potentially face IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. in a unification fight. Easter looked very beatable recently in his fight against Javier Fortuna. Mikey might like the option of unifying the division. If Mikey stays at lightweight long enough, he can fight the winner of the Jorge Linares vs. Vasyl Lomachenko fight. There’s a chance Mikey could lose to either of those guys. But if Mikey stays at lightweight, he’ll have to fight the winner or else he’ll look like he’s ducking them, which a lot of boxing fans already think he is.