Caballero signs contract to face Garcia, apologizes to promoter
Not only does promoter Sampson Lewkowicz have a signed contract from WBA featherweight titleholder Celestino Caballero for a defense of his belt against Miguel “Mikey” Garcia on July 28 at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif., but he also has a formal apology from the fighter as a result of comments Lewkowicz claims were an attempt to besmirch his reputation.
Ranked ninth in the division by THE RING, Caballero (36-4, 23 knockouts) had claimed publicly and negatively that he had not received a formal contract from Lewkowicz, who told RingTV.com that he had followed the proper protocol by sending the document directly to Caballero’s promoter, Mayweather Promotions, and not the fighter.
“I apologize for the comments that I made to the press about the situation,” Caballero told RingTV.com. “Now, I just want to move on. I’m looking forward to fighting Mikey Garcia on July 28, coming out victorious and moving on.”
Caballero has since signed the contract, a fact that was confirmed by Mayweather Promotions CEO, Leonard Ellerbe, on Thursday, as well as Lewkowicz, who out-bid Garcia’s promoter, Top Rank Inc., for the right to promote the fight.
“In the industry, there are channels that you go through. You don’t send the fight contract to a fighter when he has a promoter. I don’t break the rules. So I sent it to his promoter,” said Lewkowicz, who already has Garcia’s signed contract.
“I received, today, the contract for him directly from Mayweather promotions, signed by him. But it was signed only after it had gone through the proper channels, which is through the promoter.”
Although the contracts were due to be signed on Thursday, Lewkowicz said he asked the WBA to grant an extension to Caballero.
“You know who asked for an extension? It was me,” said Lewkowicz. “I called the WBA and asked for an extension. I actually defended him, and he tried to [besmirch] me.”
Ranked No. 5 by THE RING, Garcia (28-0, 24 KOs) is trained by his father Eduardo Garcia and his older brother, fromer titleholder Robert Garcia, and managed by Cameron Dunkin.
Garcia, 24, stands nearly 5-foot-9, lists Floyd Mayweather Jr. as his favorite boxer and eschews what he calls the traditional Mexican “brawler” style for a more technical approach which employs his defensive skills, power and range.
In Caballero, however, he’ll be facing an opponent with an even greater range; the 35-year-old Panamanian is unusually tall for the division at 5-foot-11.
Garcia is coming off a seventh-round knockout of Bernabe Concepcion, his 12th stoppage win in his past 13 fights.
Photo by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org