Boxing: Mikey Garcia vacates IBF Lightweight title to challenge Errol Spence Jr


Four division world champion Mikey Garcia has vacated his IBF Lightweight world title in pursuit of a dangerous fight against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr early next year.

Mikey Garcia won the IBF title in July when he defeated Robert Easter Jr in a 12-round unanimous decision victory to unify the lightweight title. He was supposed to defend his title against his mandatory challenger Richard Commey.

“Yes, I vacated,” Garcia told ESPN on Tuesday afternoon. “I just didn’t have enough time to negotiate the Commey fight in the time the IBF required so I needed to vacate. I have a lot of options but the fight with Spence is the fight I want.”

“The IBF was pushing for the Commey fight ASAP but with the WBC I have more time to decide what I want to do,” Garcia said. “But I’m looking for bigger fights. We have options and I just couldn’t get excited for the Richard Commey fight and the timing [the IBF] required to get it done was not enough time to negotiate considering the other options I have.”

Ringstar Sports promoter Richard Schaefer, who works with Mikey Garcia said that he is actively pursuing the Spence fight and he wants it badly.

“I met with Mikey and the fact is Mikey is not the kind of guy to say something for the heck of it,” Schaefer said. “When he said he wanted to fight Spence and that it was the fight that motivated him and excited him, he was serious. He takes pride in winning these world titles, but if you are one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world you want these big events and big challenges. For Mikey to get motivated after already having achieved so much, he really wants to test himself. He wants to dare to be great and the fight with Spence is the fight he told me he wants to pursue and that’s the fight we are pursuing.”

While Garcia would have to move up in weight in order to fight Spence, it would certainly be a crowd-pleasing bout between two of the sport’s brightest up-and-coming stars.

Spence Jr last fought in June where he knocked out Carlos Ocampo of Mexico with a brutal body shot at the sold-out Dallas Cowboy training facility.

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