Vasyl Lomachenko: Mikey Garcia doesn’t look like A-class fighter
Mikey Garcia impressed Saturday with the best performance of his career, a near-shutout decision victory over Adrien Broner.
Garcia moved up to 140 pounds and dominated a former four-division world titleholder. The 29-year-old showcased his excellent fundamentals and precision punching on Showtime, his third fight back after a two-and-a-half year layoff.
But Vasyl Lomachenko didn’t see it that way. Neither did Top Rank President Todd duBoef, Garcia’s former promoter.
Garcia said Saturday at the post-fight news conference that he fancies a future fight with Lomachenko at 135 pounds. After all, Garcia still holds the WBC title there, and that’s his most comfortable weight. But is it a fight Lomachenko truly wants?
“I didn’t see anything in that bout (to suggest) that he’s a Class-A, outstanding fighter,” Lomachenko, through manager/translator Egis Klimas, told a small group of reporters during a conference call Monday. “Yes, he won the fight, yes he did everything to win that fight. But I haven’t seen anything outstanding. I haven’t seen a Class-A fighter. I almost fell asleep.”
The two-time Olympic gold medalist, who defends his 130-pound title against Miguel Marriaga on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN), has expressed an interest in moving up five pounds. Garcia isn’t buying it, though and said Saturday “I don’t see him making the move up to 135, he’s fighting a guy at 130 who just came off a loss at 126 (to Oscar Valdez). That doesn’t show me he wants to move up to ’35.”
Robert Garcia, the older brother and trainer of Mikey, echoed those sentiments during an interview with RingTV.com on Monday and said Lomachenko should be “embarrassed” for fighting an opponent the caliber of Marriaga.
Top Rank tried to finalize a deal for Lomachenko to meet junior lightweight contender Orlando Salido in a rematch to avenge his lone pro defeat, but the fight couldn’t be finalized.
DuBoef expressed disappointment the fight didn’t come together, and then an angry-sounding duBoef moved on to discredit Garcia’s performance against Broner. Of course, there’s no love lost for Garcia after a messy divorce last year.
Garcia held out for two years while he battled Top Rank in court, and finally last summer, he secured his release.
“I didn’t think it was an incredible performance,” duBoef said. “It wasn’t a scintillating fight. I thought he won the fight clearly, but I wasn’t saying ‘oh my god, the masses are clamoring for Mikey Garcia.
“I am sick and tired of people filling you guys with a bunch of bulls— and telling you that they wanna fight the greatest fighters out there and they’re available. That is complete nonsense. Mikey Garcia turned down [Yuriorkis] Gamboa [years ago], which would’ve made him something. So don’t tell me he’s striving to fight the best out there. He then came and said, ‘Oh, I wanna fight [Manny] Pacquiao,’ after a two-year layoff. ‘I wanna fight [Terence] Crawford. I wanna fight Lomachenko.’ Great. We’re here.
“His f—ing trainer (Robert Garcia) shows up to say, ‘Hey, we wanna talk about it.’ And then he goes off and makes a Broner fight. Stop the nonsense. Stop it.”
Robert Garcia, who has trained many Top Rank fighters and currently works with one of their top prospects, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, said he has tremendous respect for Lomachenko, but found some of duBoef and Co’s comments peculiar.
“[duBoef] knows he would have had a superstar [in Mikey], Manny is pretty much done,” Garcia said. “He could come back strong for two more fights — two or three left — and he should do good, and they’ll make money off him. He knows Mikey would have been his next star, but it’s just not like that anymore. He’s on his own and wants to do stuff his way.”
Hopefully someday soon, Lomachenko can attempt to prove Garcia isn’t on his level in the ring.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger