Erislandy Lara to face Danny Garcia on August 5, winner to face Michael Zerafa within 120 days
WBA world middleweight titleholder Erislandy Lara will face Danny Garcia on August 5.
The WBA Championships Committee announced late Thursday that Lara was granted a “special permit” to face Garcia after TGB Promotions submitted a request to do so.
The sanctioning body, through its rules and regulations, cited section c.16, which states “that the body may modify the periods of mandatory defenses for good cause, either in response to a request for a Special Permit, or on its own initiative.”
The WBA cited another rule, C.46.a, stating “that the WBA may modify or suspend the strict application of these rules when the WBA deems it justified in its sole discretion to accommodate special circumstances. The rules also state that the agency may require conditions for granting a permit.”
The mandatory challenger to Lara’s WBA title is Michael Zerafa (30-4, 19 knockouts) of Australia. A deal was agreed between all parties where the winner of the Lara-Garcia fight “is obligated to fight Zerafa within 120 days after the fight on August 5.”
The Lara-Garcia fight, according to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, could land at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and will likely headline a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card on a Showtime platform. Coppinger also reports the Lara-Garcia fight will be contested at 155 pounds.
Lara, who is ranked No 7 by The Ring, was elevated to full titleholder by the WBA in March after Gennadiy Golovkin relinquished the world title belt rather than defend against Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs), who was the secondary titleholder.
The 40-year-old Lara has not fought since knocking out Gary O’Sullivan in the eighth round on May 28 of last year. Lara is unbeaten in his last five bouts since a split-decision loss to Jarrett Hurd in April 2018.
Garcia (37-3, 21 KOs), who resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has not fought since July 30, defeating Jose Benavidez, Jr. by majority decision. The win over Benavidez was Garcia’s first fight at junior middleweight.
The 35-year-old has won world title belts at 140 and 147 pounds.
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]