Decisions, decisions for Mikey Garcia
Earlier this week, WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia and his brother/trainer Robert were at the Golden Boy Promotions offices in downtown Los Angeles, according to sources. What was being discussed – among other things – was a possible fight with WBA lightweight titlist Jorge Linares.
A Garcia-Linares unification bout would take place in the early months of 2018 and is one of the best pure match-ups that can be made in the sport, moving forward.
But this process isn’t so simple and it involves much more than just negotiating a single fight.
Garcia is a promotional free agent (after having extricated himself from Top Rank after a two-year legal battle) and, since returning last summer, has fought on cards promoted by various entities associated with Premier Boxing Champions. Garcia is advised by Al Haymon.
The biggest hang-up for Garcia is, while he calls out a multitude of names (ironically some of them are with Top Rank), he wants to retain his promotional freedom and not be tied down to a long-term contract with anybody. This certainly sounds good, in theory, but the reality is unless he signs some sort of multi-fight contract with a promoter who represents these boxers he’d like to face, he simply will not get those opportunities.
Recently on Twitter, Garcia expressed interest in facing Miguel Cotto (Now, this fight seems a tad illogical given Garcia last fought Adrien Broner at 140 pounds and Cotto is the reigning WBO 154-pound beltholder but that’s neither here nor there) but the larger issue is the Puerto Rican star is now under the Golden Boy banner.
If Garcia wants to face Cotto and/or Linares in the near future, he will have to sign a multi-fight contract with the company. They – nor anyone else – will do a one-off with him. Top Rank officials found it ironic that, after leaving their company, he listed several of their fighters as ones he’d like to face in the future. Let’s just say they weren’t in any rush to do business with him.
This is the reality of the situation for Garcia. And the truth of the matter is any real bona fide organization (the “sham promoters” don’t really apply here) will want at least a multi-fight commitment from him to get fights of this nature.
Perhaps Sugar Ray Leonard and his adviser Mike Trainer could be independent operators back during their days but Garcia, as gifted in the ring as he is, simply doesn’t have that kind of leverage. That said, it could be said that maybe only IBF/WBA heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua and lineal middleweight champion Saul Alvarez really have that type of influence – and the fact is they have full-time promoters working on their behalfs.
In this past generation, only Floyd Mayweather Jr. was really allowed to be an island unto himself.
While, in theory, it seems ideal for boxers to be able to bounce around from one promoter to another (especially with how fractured the business is nowadays) the flipside is even Robert Garcia, a veteran of the sport from his days as a boxer and trainer/manager, did not hesitate to grouse in various interviews about how they were treated during the week of the Broner fight, which took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The promoter of record was DiBella Entertainment.
Robert felt strongly that they were treated as the B-side and second-class citizens and it has to be asked: Why was this fight placed on the East Coast? Did that benefit Garcia’s overall cause, to fight in a venue in which Broner had fought many times before?
Garcia, who easily out-pointed Broner on July 29, is one of the premier prizefighters in the sport, whose mastery of his craft is unquestioned. Currently, he is undefeated, at 37-0 (30), and has won titles at featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight and it doesn’t seem that his extended hiatus away from the sport has dulled his skills. The best may still yet to come from Garcia.
But Garcia is like Sinatra – he does things his way. And his insistence on his promotional independence could keep him from having the most lucrative dance partners. Word is GBP is willing to work with Garcia even with Haymon involved. For Garcia, staying involved with him means he can still keep the door open, in terms of facing any of his other clients.
But he could choose to remain free.
And there’s even a cost to being free.
NEWS AND NOTES
– While Lance Pugmire of the L.A. Times reported on Wednesday that the Canelo-Gennady Golovkin fight on September 16 did 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, Golden Boy put forth the following announcement on Thursday:
“While everyone at Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions appreciate the media’s recognition that the fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin was an enormous success, the figure that is being cited by some news outlets is simply inaccurate.
“Not only are satellite operators and cable companies still in the process of compiling data, that number does not include online PPV sales through RingTV.com, Sony Play Station, and Sling TV, which far exceeded any previous fight featuring Canelo or Golovkin. The bottom line is that we expect the final numbers to be well north of current reports, and we will make a decision on reporting those numbers when we know they are accurate.”
Seems like the new dynamic is the accounting of online pay-per-view sales, which I would assume is becoming more prevalant, with cord-cutting taking place.
– Showtime announced that, in addition to WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder defending his belt against Luis Ortiz from the Barclays Center on November 4, they will televise a welterweight tussle between Shawn Porter and Adrian Granados and the vacant IBF 140-pound title tilt between Sergey Lipinets and Akihiko Kondo.
This should be an entertaining tripleheader in Brooklyn.
– The “World Boxing Super Series” announced that the rest of its cruiserweight quarterfinals will be broadcast on AT&T’s AUDIENCE Network starting this Saturday night from Latvia, as Mike Perez takes on Mairis Breidis. AUDIENCE Network can be found on channel 239 on DirecTV and 1114 on U-Verse.
The question is just whom will the Puerto Rican star face? There has been a lot of chatter about former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux but word is he and his camp will not come down from 160 pounds (which is already difficult enough for him to make).
ESPN2/Deportes will air the rematch between Hassan N’dam and Ryoto Murata on Sunday October 22 (7 a.m. ET), it was announced…The IBF has ruled that, with the recent retirement of Andre Ward, the upcoming match between Artur Beterbiev and Enrico Koelling, who meet in Fresno, California on November 11, has been elevated for their now vacant belt…There is boxing on Saturday night on ESPN Deportes with a card from Boston, that has a main event of Gary O’Sullivan vs. Nick Quigley (which begins at 10 p.m. ET)…Leduan Barthelemy was awfully fortunate to get a draw against Eduardo Ramirez on Tuesday night…Jaron Ennis, Brandun Lee and Adam Daranyi will be in action on October 14 in Washington D.C. This trio is with Victory Promotions…I think both Miami and USC are in for real battles on ESPN tonight…Wouldn’t it have been a bigger news story if it was found out that college basketball programs WEREN’T buying players? That said, it seemed like Louisville was offering some pretty enticing deals to come and play for them…I think Virginia Tech gives Clemson all they can handle in Blacksburg…Finally saw “Days of Thunder” (for real, I did) and yeah, it was basically “Top Gun” with NASCAR. Still enjoyed it, though…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.