Mikey Garcia: Why Linares is next, not Terence CrawfordWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Last night, Mikey Garcia looked every bit as sharp as oddsmakers anticipated, slicing and dicing a focused Adrien Broner en route to a comfortable unanimous decision win.
With the convincing, high-profile win, Garcia becomes a powerbroker of sorts in the sport. He's a fighter on the cusp of super stardom but isn't quite there yet.
“This is definitely one of my best performances ever,” Garcia said. “I think I controlled the fight in the early rounds and I kept the activity up. [Broner] is a great fighter who has great skills. I was the superior fighter tonight.
“It was the timing. I’ve always said I have very good timing. It is underestimated when you are outside the ring, but once you get inside the ring with me, I’m a step ahead.”
So, what's next for Garcia?
In the post-fight interview with Showtime, Garcia insisted he could fight next at 135, 140 or 147 pounds. But for those of you salivating over the prospect of Garcia will next face the world's top super lightweight, Terence Crawford, sit tight a little while longer.
Instead, expect Garcia to drop back down to 135 to face Jorge Linares (42-3, 27 KO), the real and legitimate RING Magazine lightweight champion.
For starters, Terence may be too much risk for the reward for Garcia at this moment. Keep in mind, Mikey has only had one fight at 140 lbs and just three since January 2014 (due to his 2 1/2 year layoff).
And sure, hardcore junkies want to see Crawford vs Garcia but casual fans probably don't have a lot of interest yet. Moreover, it would behove Garcia to take at least one more fight before facing the ultra-skilled Crawford.
Crawford vs Garcia needs time to build the momentum required to generate the level of interest to pay both fighters handsomely.
Remember Donaire vs Rigondeaux and, of course, the recent Ward vs Kovalev bouts? They were sensational match-ups but only hardcore junkies were interested. Thus, they were flops at the box office.
Having defeated the flashy, high-profile Broner, will it be difficult for Mikey Garcia to motivate himself for the lesser-known Jorge Linares?
"The reason I want a fight with him is [because] he's the most accomplished lightweight right now and he's holding The RING Magazine title which is a title I want," Garcia told FightHype.com hours after defeating Broner.
"We are gonna make the phone call... We are gonna try to get the fight."
"If he wants to take it, we'll definitely work on that. If [his] promoter or manager don't want it, he's going to have to relinquish his WBC Diamond title."
"If he wants to [maintain] his status as champion, he's gonna have to take the fight."
"... But I'm not waiting or chasing anybody."
As of today, (July 30), Mikey Garcia has opened a clear favorite against Linares as Paddy Power betFair have the same betting line. (Odds from other bettors are expected to be comparable)
- Mikey Garcia 1/3
- Jorge Linares 9/4
Linares faces the rough and rugged Luke Campbell (17-1) on September 23 while Crawford will fight Julius Indongo (22-0) August 19.