Sunday, April 02, 2023  |



Garcia-Martinez in the fall?

Fighters Network

RING featherweight champion Mikey Garcia said that plans are in the works for him to rise into the junior lightweight ranks for a clash with WBO beltholder Roman “Rocky” Martinez, of Puerto Rico, in the fall.

A 25-year-old Mexican-American boxer-puncher from Oxnard, Calif., Garcia (32-0, 27 knockouts) is coming off January’s eighth-round technical decision over Orlando Salido, which was followed by last month’s fourth-round stoppage of former titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez.

Martinez (30-1-1, 20 KOs), meanwhile, is coming off a split-decision victory over previously unbeaten Diego Magdaleno that followed a split-draw with Juan Carlos Burgos in January.

Garcia said that a bout with Martinez is being discussed by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, his manager, Cameron Dunkin, HBO, and Martinez’s promoter, Peter Rivera.

“Basically, we’re just waiting for Top Rank to offer a date, so they’re working on that, and I think that they’re waiting for HBO to get a date to make the fight happen. Right now, Martinez is training and keeping himself in shape for a date between October and November,” said Rivera.

“We like the idea. That’s not the only one that we have. We can try other fights, but we’re waiting for an offer and the date and we’ll see if we can make that fight. But it’s maybe one of the biggest options. The other option is to fight the IBF 130-pound champion Argenis Mendez and make a unification fight. So maybe a unification fight against Mendez is another possibility.”

Garcia was overweight prior to his contracted 126-pound bout with Lopez, costing him his WBO belt at the scales, and is ready for the challenge of rising into the 130-pound division.

“I have known about the fight from Top Rank and HBO, that they were interested in this for a while, but yesterday I was talking to Cameron, and he said that there is a very likely possibility that this is the fight that’s going to happen. So it’s the fight that they’re proposing, and it’s probably the best option right now,” said Garcia.

“It’s probably the easiest fight to be made at 130 pounds, and that’s where I’m looking to fight, at 130, for my next fight. It’s probably the easiest fight to work with and it’s a good test for me to see how I feel at that division. I’m not just fighting at 130 against a guy who is coming up from 122 or 126 and moving up to 130, I’m fighting a world champion at 130 who has established himself there already. That’s kind of what I want to do. I want to feel that increase in weight and see what that does for me.”

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank