The hard feelings that caused Mikey Garcia’s departure from his former promoter, Top Rank, may ultimately keep him from an attractive showdown with the company’s impressive super-featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
In a return to the still-present animosity, Top Rank President Todd duBoef claimed on a Monday conference call with reporters that unbeaten lightweight champion Garcia is not “a big name,” even after his convincing unanimous-decision victory over former four-division world champion Adrien Broner Saturday in a Showtime-televised main event at New York’s Barclays Center.
“I’m sick and tired of people filling you guys [reporters] with a bunch of [B.S.] by telling you they want to fight the greatest fighters out there. That is complete nonsense,” duBoef said, returning to Garcia’s inability to previously agree to fight Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa while at Top Rank.
“I saw [Garcia-Broner] and I didn’t think it was an incredible performance. He out-pointed Broner. I didn’t think it was a scintillating fight. He won the fight, but I wasn’t saying, ‘Oh my God, the masses are clamoring for Mikey Garcia.’ I’m being honest with you. He had a nice fight. Mikey did a good job.
“But a big name is Mikey Garcia now? I don’t buy it. If Mikey Garcia is interested in the fight, have his guys call us. We’re in. Anytime. Anytime.”
Oxnard-born Garcia will more likely fight fellow lightweight world champion Jorge Linares next should Linares defeat Luke Campbell Sept. 23 at the Forum.
But given his skill set and that of Lomachenko, the Ukrainian who won two Olympic gold medals and is known as “the Matrix,” a super-fight between the pair would be an extraordinary event.
Lomachenko, already a two-division world champion, returns to the ring Saturday at L.A. Live’s Micosoft Theater against three-time title challenger Miguel Marriaga on an ESPN card that begins at 7 p.m. PDT.
Before duBoef slammed Garcia, Lomachenko said on Monday’s conference call with reporters, “I want my name to be mentioned in the history of boxing in fights the fans and people want to see.”
Lomachenko said he watched Garcia (37-0, 30 knockouts) fight Saturday.
“I did see his trainer Robert Garcia mention Mikey is a fighter of A-class,” Lomachenko (8-1, six KOs) said. “I didn’t see anything [that indicated] he was an outstanding Class-A fighter. I haven’t seen an A-class fighter.
“And, at this point, it doesn’t really matter what I want. It’s more about who’s available. I’m preparing for one big fight. This training session will be for one more big fight. I’m a boxer, not a picker. Whoever’s in front of me, I’ll be fighting this guy.”
Reached by text message, Garcia scoffed at a suggestion by Lomachenko manager Egis Klimas that Garcia will only fight on Showtime, but declined to comment further.
“Don’t tell me [Garcia’s] striving to fight the best out there,” duBoef said. “He said he wanted to fight [Top Rank fighters Manny] Pacquiao, [Terence] Crawford … we’re here. Stop the nonsense. They yap … to you guys. They don’t make matches. [Lomachenko] and Crawford haven’t dodged anybody.”
Later, duBoef texted The Times and said he’d, of course, like to see Lomachenko fight Garcia.
“I’d love it. Garcia has no intention,’ duBoef said in the text message.
Source: Lance Pugmire, Contact reporter| LA Times