Mikey Garcia explains decision to swerve Richard Commey, drop IBF belt
Mikey Garcia has given the strongest indication yet that he’s ready to meet Errol Spence at welterweight next.
The multi-weight world champion has been linked to challenging Spence at 147 despite holding two titles at the lightweight limit.
Garcia has now decided to drop the IBF version at 135 following an order to face number one contender Richard Commey.
“Yes, I vacated,” Garcia told ESPN. “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.”
On Commey and keeping his WBC title, he added: “The IBF was pushing for the Commey fight ASAP. But with the WBC I have more time to decide what I want to do.
“But I’m looking for bigger fights. We have options and I just couldn’t get excited for the Richard Commey fight.
“The timing (IBF officials) required to get it done was not enough time to negotiate considering the other options I have.”
As things stand, Garcia may still have time to battle Spence early in 2019 before taking on his WBC mandatory Luke Campbell.
The Campbell contest would be a good option for Garcia, financially, Although Al Haymon is yet to give an indication he’s willing to work with Eddie Hearn on DAZN.
It may turn out that Garcia will give up all his titles at the lower weights after dropping the IBF strap at 140 recently. Ivan Baranchyk picked up that championship as recently as Saturday.
The WBC title remains the only one left in Garcia’s possession, meaning a loss against Spence would put Campbell firmly in the frame for the summer of next year.
Should Garcia pull off a victory against Spence, Campbell would almost certainly be left to fight over the vacant belt with the next contender in line.
Ironically, behind Campbell in the WBC Ratings is Commey. This could see Zaur Abdullaev boosted into a vacant title clash with Campbell.
Another Russian in Isa Chaniev is set to be offered the IBF bout with Commey in the coming days.