Fighting

He just solidified his status among boxing’s elite. What’s next for this undefeated star?

Mikey Garcia, center, raises his arm after the 11th round against Robert Easter Jr., left, during their WBC and IBF world lightweight title bout in Los Angeles, Saturday, July 28, 2018. At right is Judge Jack Reiss. Garcia won by unanimous decision.
Mikey Garcia, center, raises his arm after the 11th round against Robert Easter Jr., left, during their WBC and IBF world lightweight title bout in Los Angeles, Saturday, July 28, 2018. At right is Judge Jack Reiss. Garcia won by unanimous decision. AP



Mikey Garcia’s immediate goal is a move to the welterweight class and a fight with champion Errol Spence Jr. but he does not rule out a future match with Vasyl Lomachenko.

“It is a fight that interests me tremendously,” Garcia said during a visit to The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald offices last Friday. “In the lightweight division there is no other attractive bout.”

Garcia and Lomachenko are lightweight titleholders and considered on the short list of boxing’s best pound-per-pound fighters. Lomachenko is currently recovering from shoulder surgery and plans a ring return later this year.

Securing a bout between Garcia and Lomachenko has its obstacles because Lomachenko is promoted by Top Rank, a company that previously guided Garcia’s career. Garcia split with his former promoter and was forced into a two-year ring absence during the promotional contract dispute.

Nonetheless, Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) wants the fight despite the acrimonious break with his ex-promoter.

“As far as the remainder of this year we can’t make the fight with him,” Garcia said. “That is why we are looking at other options, such as the fight with Spence at 147 (pounds). If all goes well, we can make the fight with Lomachenko next year.”

Garcia, 30, solidified his status among boxing’s elite following his convincing unanimous decision win over Robert Easter Jr. in a lightweight unification bout July 29 in Los Angeles. Immediately after the bout, Garcia called out Spence, another of the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters, for a possible fight in the fall.

“I aspire for the bigger fights, the bigger weights and now I believe is the opportunity to pursue another title in another division,” Garcia said. “And there is nothing better than the best champion in the division, the most dangerous in the division.”

If he lands the fight with Spence, Garcia will seek a world title in a fifth division. Garcia began his string of championships at the featherweight class and eventually captured belts at junior-lightweight, lightweight and junior-welterweight.

Colombia’s Eleider Alvarez scored a seventh-round technical knockout victory over defending champion Sergey Kovalev and won the World Boxing Organization light-heavyweight title late Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J.

Trailing on all three scorecards, Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) floored Kovalev with a right to the head midway through the seventh. A dazed Kovalev beat the 10-count but Alvarez dropped him again with a right-left combination to the head. Although Kovalev (32-3-1) reached his feet again before the 10-count, he couldn’t avoid Alvarez’s relentless attack.

Alvarez found another opening and dropped Kovalev a third time, forcing referee David Fields to stop the bout at 2:45 of the round. For Alvarez, 34, the victory culminates a five-year title chase that kept him in contention but without the opportunity at a championship bout until Saturday.

“It is really difficult to describe how I feel,” Alvarez said. “I wanted to prove that I am strong, have a good chin and ready for great things.”

Alvarez’s victory spoiled a possible unification fight between Kovalev and fellow Russian Dmitry Bivol, who also fought on Saturday’s card. Bivol retained his World Boxing Association belt with a convincing unanimous decision over Isaac Chilemba.

Around the ring

Miami Beach resident Enmanuel Guerra traveled overseas for his first professional bout. For Guerra, 17, expanding the frequent miles ledger proved rewarding after his third round knockout win over Teodor Nikolov Saturday in Marbella, Spain.

Coming up

Friday (11:30 p.m., Telemundo-Ch. 51): Daniel Lozano vs. Ricardo Franco, 10, bantamweights.

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