I’m not a tremendously knowledgeable boxing historian. There are some historical facts I’m familiar with and I can discuss at great lengths certain aspects of the sport’s more ancient happenings, but I am certain there are better-educated historians with a knowledge of both the monumental and trivial facts of the past.
Despite my limitations as a boxing historian, I can remember a time when Mikey Garcia was an active fighter. They were great times filled with decent scraps and the hope for potential greatness on the horizon.
Rumors of Mikey’s return date have been circulating since November of last year and those reports have changed over the past few months, but all of them have pointed at a possible reconciliation with his promoter Top Rank followed by a potential fight in the coming months. The timetable updates with every month that passes, but we were all confident that Mikey would go more than a full year between his last fight and his next—he hasn’t competed since his successful WBO junior lightweight title defense against Juan Carlos Burgos on January 25th, 2014.
Despite the pressure from fans and media, Garcia is willing to remain inactive and leave money on the table in hopes of achieving a more secure deal with financial terms that he can be comfortable with.
The one bright spot is Garcia’s claims that he will move to 140lbs in his next fight. It can’t be known if his decision to jump up two weight classes is based on a physical necessity or whether it is some ill-conceived notion that he has to make a dramatic leap to satisfy is career trajectory.
Garcia spoke with Thaboxingvoice.com about moving up and his comments make it clear that he realizes he’ll have to move quickly upon his return to make up for the time he has lost, and he hopes to achieve this by taking on the best fighters in whichever division he decides to compete in.
“We’re actually thinking of moving up to 140lbs possibly in my first fight back,” Garcia told Thaboxingvoice.com. “I want to do 140 and just feel my body out, see how I adapt to that division. If I feel comfortable enough to come down to 135lbs, then I’ll be at 135, but if I feel comfortable at 140 then I’ll just stay there.
“I’ll establish myself at 140 and after a fight or two [in the 140lb] division then I want to go after the champions, and everybody knows who the champions at 140lbs are: it’s Danny Garcia, and you have [Lamont] Peterson.”
The problem with Mikey’s brave intentions is he is no longer in a position where his status lines up with his demands. I’m not saying Mikey is forgotten, not at all, but his layoff has left him out of any and all equations.
I won’t blame the improbable matchups suggested by Garcia on the fighter himself because the landscape of today’s sport leaves him with fewer options if he indeed stays with Top Rank for a lengthy period of time. Garcia knows this is the case and he is realistic about his options moving forward, although it would be ideal if he understood that not fighting, more than anything else, hurts his chances at receiving bigger opportunities.
“Those are the champions at 140 and if I stay at the 140 division those are the guys we want to go after, but it’s not that easy [with those fighters] handled by Al Haymon and if I am with a different promoter I’m probably not going to get it. Fans need to understand it’s not easy.”