This weekend, Mikey Garcia did something amazing when he defeated feared Russian pugilist Sergey Lipinets to become a four-division world champion.
Its a great feeling. Winning this fourth title in a fourth division is an honor, Garcia said in the post-fight interview. To get to be mentioned with Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is a huge honor for me. It just leaves a little chapter in boxing with my name, my brother, my dad. I think people will remember the Garcia family for ages to come.
Garcia, who was fighting for just the second time at 140 pounds, relied on a steady diet of combos to back up Lipinets, who was making the first defense of the IBF title he won last November on SHOWTIME. Garcia floored Lipinets for the first time in his career, connecting on a counter left hook midway through the seventh round in a rousing moment that sent the pro-Garcia crowd to their feet.
Mikey Garcia captured a world title in his fourth weight division, outpointing previously undefeated Sergey Lipinets to win the IBF Junior Welterweight World Championship Saturday on SHOWTIME from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
Despite being the defending champion, Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs) was fighting in just his 14th professional fight. The Russian, who was born in Kazakhstan, delivered a valiant effort against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
After the fight, Garcia, who still holds the WBC title at lightweight, reiterated his mantra that hes seeking the biggest fights available, regardless of weight division.
What I love is I have all the options, Garcia said. I could go down to 135 to unify titles, which is what I really want to do. And in a couple of fights, youre going to see me at 147.”
Terence “Bud” Crawford is the Boxing Writer’s Association of America’s current “Fighter of the Year”. He’s mopped up the super lightweight division one victim at a time and now has entered the high stakes welterweight division. Crawford is smart enough to chase the money after first chasing greatness and the welterweight division is still where the interest lies thanks in part to the exploits of Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
However, for all the talk of Deontay Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua or Keith Thurman vs. Errol Spence, we need to make room for Terence Crawford vs. Mikey Garcia. This weekend cemented Garcia’s greatness and onto a path to achieve athletic heights like Mayweather, another undefeated fighter and a champion in five division’s. With Garcia already stating his intention to jump into the welterweight fray, he is on the path and might meet Crawford in the process.
Most pundits’ criticism of Crawford is that he hasn’t fought the top names in the sport, mainly due to the politics of boxing. However, as time has shown, if the fan interest is generated then the bouts will always be made. With so many fights out there for Garcia at welterweight, his decision to unify the lightweight titles before moving up is smart.
Right now, IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter, Jr. would be the best matchup and easy to make as both are Al Haymon-affiliated fighters. If Mikey is successful in that fight, he would not only have beaten Adrien Broner but also his protege in Easter for a complete Band Camp shutout.
Is Mikey Garcia on your top five pound-for-pound list? If not, you’re bugging.
With the Danny Garcia’s, Errol Spence’s, Shawn Porter’s, and Keith Thurman’s out there, there are so many more ways we will see the brilliance of Mikey Garcia.
And to see his technical mastery matched against Crawford’s is just another testament to boxing’s flourishing promise.
Bottom line, the world needs to mention the name Mikey Garcia in the same conversations as Crawford, because he is making history with ease on boxing’s biggest stages.