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Hector Garcia ordered to face mandatory challenger Lamont Roach by May 20

Fighters Network

WBA junior lightweight titleholder Hector Garcia has been notified he must face mandatory challenger Lamont Roach by May 20, the World Boxing Association (WBA) announced Monday.

The WBA instructed both sides to finalize a fight that would pit two fighters rated in The Ring’s top 10, where Garcia and Roach are rated No. 2 and 9, respectively.

Garcia (16-1 3 NC’s, 10 knockouts), who resides in San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic, won the WBA title on August 20, defeating Roger Gutierrez by unanimous decision.

The 31-year-old was allowed one voluntary defense of the WBA world title, but bypassed it by moving up in weight to challenge Gervonta Davis, who holds the WBA secondary title at 135 pounds. Davis knocked out Garcia on January 7.

Per WBA rules, specifically rule c-13, the sanctioning body notifies all parties 60 days before the expiration date, in this case May 20. Both sides have 30 days, until April 19, to negotiate and send contracts to the WBA Championships Committee. If both sides don’t agree to a deal, WBA will call a purse bid, with Garcia receiving 75 percent and Roach receiving the remaining 25 percent.

Also, under WBA rules, neither fighter is allowed to pursue another fight after the WBA ordered the fight between Garcia and Roach to take place.

Garcia fights under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner, while Roach is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. Both promotional companies have rarely struck deals with each other, although a fight was made between Garcia and Gutierrez, who also fights under the Golden Boy banner.

Eric Gomez, the President of Golden Boy Promotions, acknowledged to The Ring late Tuesday he will reach out to Tom Brown of TGB Promotions in the coming days to begin negotiations on a possible Garcia-Roach fight.

Roach (23-1-1, 9 KOs), who resides in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, became the WBA mandatory challenger on July 16, defeating Angel Rodriguez by unanimous decision.

The 27-year-old has won his last four bouts since losing by unanimous decision to then-WBO world junior lightweight titleholder Jamel Herring in November 2019.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]