R. Garcia: Lomachenko should be embarrassed for Marriaga fight
Robert Garcia knows why Vasyl Lomachenko and Todd duBoef made some of their remarks about Mikey Garcia on Monday when the prospect of a fight between the two was tossed around.
After all, the trainer — and older brother — of Mikey has been in the fight game for a long time. First in the 1990s as a 130-pound titleholder, and now as one of the most highly regarded coaches in the sport.
When Garcia caught wind of the critical comments made by Lomachenko and duBoef — the junior lightweight beltholder said Garcia isn’t an A-class fighter — he wasn’t angry. He still has a good working relationship with Top Rank and currently works with one of their top prospects, Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
Garcia also expressed tremendous respect for Lomachenko, but simply, he has an idea why they would say such things after Mikey’s career-best performance against Adrien Broner on Saturday.
“They’re not going to do the [Lomachenko] fight with Mikey, they know better,” Garcia told RingTV.com. “Is Marriaga an ‘A’ fighter? He just got beat by a featherweight (Oscar Valdez) in his last fight. Lomachenko should be embarrassed. Especially after Lomachenko said he won’t fight unless he’s fighting in unification bouts. He wants to fight the best. Is Marriaga the best? If the best isn’t available, then move up and fight the best at 135 (pounds).
“That’s what Mikey did. He had no big challenges at 135 and he went up to 140 and fought Broner. Lomachenko isn’t showing signs that he’s looking to fight Mikey at all. He’s fighting a smaller guy that just lost, what does that tell you?”
Lomachenko expressed frustration at the Marriaga assignment, but says no one else was willing to fight him. Top Rank tried to finalize a rematch between 130-pound contender Orlando Salido and Lomachenko, but duBoef says the Salido camp turned it down.
“It really doesn’t matter who I want. Who is available?” Lomachenko asked. “I am preparing for one big name, for one big fight, and this fight, like (my win over Jason) Sosa, or like this upcoming Saturday, is going to be just like my training session for one big fight. I am a boxer, I am not a picker.”
The Ukrainian is considering moving to a new weight class in order to fight top guys, ascend to the top of the pound-for-pound list and be “mentioned in the history of boxing.” There’s certainly no doubting “Hi-Tech”s incredible talent.
DuBoef admitted that when you increase the frequency of bouts — Lomachenko is on track to have one more fight after this in 2017 — “sometimes you may just have a really solid, tough guy like Marriaga in front of you.” The executive said it was important to gain exposure for Lomachenko on ESPN, and hopefully soon, Lomachenko will be in a big fight.
Guillermo Rigondeaux, a fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist who has called for a fight with Lomachenko, would represent one such marquee matchup. A bout with Mikey Garcia, of course, would represent another.
“They all know how good Mikey is,” Robert Garcia said of Top Rank, who promoted Garcia for the majority of his career before they parted ways last summer. And Garcia knows his brother wouldn’t do what Lomachenko is doing now. He says there was a venue on hold for Garcia to fight on July 22, but that Mikey refused and wanted a bigger challenge.
“He didn’t question or think about it, he made that decision right away. Loma is fighting this Saturday. Mikey just fought last Saturday. Both guys want the fight. Don’t go and fight Rigondeaux, just fight Mikey at 135 sometime in November or December.
“Todd doesn’t want the fight, that’s Todd. If there’s any reach-out from our side to them, there will be excuses about the money. Lomachenko said he doesn’t fight for the money and I’m sure he’ll still get a nice payday to fight Mikey. But I guarantee you Todd won’t take the fight.”
Boxing fans should hope Robert Garcia is wrong on that last prediction.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger