Thursday, June 08, 2023  |


Is Dejan Zlaticanin-Mikey Garcia set for Oct. 15?

Fighters Network
Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda

Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda

Mikey Garcia looked pretty darn sharp after two-and-a-half years away from live fighting for pay, when he demolished Elio Rojas in Brooklyn on Aug. 30.

The California-based boxer from a fighting family, who holds a 35-0 (29 knockouts) record,  seems to be angling toward trying to make up for lost time and could be gloving up again on Oct. 15.

Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs, age 32, left-hander from Montenegro), who holds the WBC 135-pound title, announced on Twitter that he will be putting his crown up for grabs on that date against one Mikey Garcia.

Zlat, promoted by Lou DiBella, sent out the news late Monday morning.

I messaged DiBella and Garcia’s brother, trainer Robert Garcia, to verify and confirm or deny. Garcia’s response: “Haven’t heard anything but we’ll take it.”

Showtime has been enthused about the Garcia comeback and is touting him as a pound-for-pound talent. The 28-year-old looked ready for war, in seek-and-destroy mode against Rojas, and has proclaimed himself mentally refreshed, all in to be the best he can be, after his hiatus.

My take: The sport is ripe for – if not a takeover – at least a concerted run toward increased visibility and prominence for Garcia. If he continues to fight in such an aggressive manner, he could absolutely be more heavily embraced, especially among the Hispanic market, which is seen as a valuable demographic, as those fight fans are seen as committed and loyal. Down the line, a super-fight against RING junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford would be among the no-brainer matchups, which, if they get made, would draw eyes from the more casual fight fan.

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069 and check out his Everlast podcast, “TALKBOX.”