Did Mikey Garcia Make the Right Choice?
Published: October 13, 2017
This past week the boxing world has been buzzing over the next steps of one of its best technicians. WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) reportedly turned down a fight with current WBO 154-pound champion Miguel Cotto (41-5, 3 KOs). Cotto’s current promoter Golden Boy Promotions wanted to sign Garcia to a multi-fight contract to make the fight with Cotto happen. The deal with Golden Boy would have included the fight with Cotto but also potential future bouts with opponents like Jorge Linares.
Those fights for Garcia are lucrative but weren’t enough for the Mexican to sign his name on a contract. As for now, it is being reported that Garcia could be looking at a lightweight unification bout with IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. Garcia, who hails from Oxnard, California, spent over two years out of the ring because of a dispute over a contract extension with promoter Top Rank. When Garcia returned from his hiatus he aligned himself with influential advisor Al Haymon, Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions. All three of his return-bouts have taken place on Showtime.
Garcia’s last bout that took place this past July against former four-division champion Adrien Broner was the biggest of his career thus far. That night Garcia won a unanimous decision. In his post-fight interview, Garcia highlighted that while he considers himself a free agent, he does have restrictions.
What Garcia is attempting to accomplish isn’t anything new in the boxing world. In the 1980’s boxing’s most prominent superstar Sugar Ray Leonard along with advisor Mike Trainer never aligned himself exclusively with a specific promoter. Unfortunately, for Garcia, the leverage of being one of boxing’s biggest stars is not afforded to him.
Today’s two most prominent and famous fighters are lineal middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Both men have shown the ability to pack a large crowd in a stadium and sell in the millions in PPV (pay-per-view) buys. Alvarez is signed with Golden Boy, and Joshua is with U.K. promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing.
This era’s most successfully financial fighter Floyd Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) for a significant portion of his career used Golden Boy as a pseudo promoter for many of his most notable bouts. While Garcia has not stated that he wants to be a massive star in the sport, having a promoter behind him is not something that would necessarily impede him in reaching his financial goals.
From Garcia’s perspective, it may have been for the best not to fight Cotto. Although Garcia is ranked as of the best fighters in the world currently, he would not have been the favorite against a veteran like Cotto. Garcia has made it clear through his words and actions that he is willing to move up in weight to fight more significant challenges. The welterweight (147) division is filled with outstanding match ups for Garcia with fighters under the same advisor.
Whether Garcia made the right choice or not in deciding not to join Golden Boy, only time will tell.
(Feature Photo: Esther Lin/Showtime Sports)