By Rich Cheney: WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia surprised a lot of fans recently in saying that he’d like to fight WBC junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto at 154. Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) would be moving up 3 divisions to face Cotto for his WBC 154 belt.
It’s a fight that would bring them both a nice payday, but it’s unclear whether that’s the fight that Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) has in mind for his December fight. Cotto his sights set on facing the winner of the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight this Saturday.
“[Mikey Garcia] and his brother come to my gym and challenge Manny Pacquiao,” said Roach to Fighthub. ”And now they’re challenging my other fighter, Miguel Cotto, and I said ‘yeah, that sounds good. I like that fight.’ I said I think he’s a little bit too small but, um, he’s a tough kid, he comes forward, he likes to fight, it’d be an action fight,” said Roach.
Mikey, 5’7”, is the same height as Cotto, but he’s so much smaller frame-wise. Cotto will wipe the deck with Mikey if he can catch up to him. Mikey was running like crazy during parts of his fight with Adrien Broner last July. It was a dud of a fight. If this is all Cotto can get for December, then you must feel sorry for him, as he wants to fight the winner of the Canelo-GGG fight. There’s where the PPV money is at. Fighting Mikey Garcia is a fight that would likely need to be shown on regular Showtime or HBO.
Mikey has put together 3 good wins since making his comeback last year in July after 2 years out of the ring. Mikey beat Dejan Zlaticanin by a 3rd round knockout last January to win the WBC lightweight title. Instead of defending the belt against the little known contenders, Mikey moved up to 140 and fought Broner. Mikey wants to move back down to lightweight and fight Jorge Linares, but he’s not available to fight. Even if he were, I’m not sure if he’ll be excited at the thought of fighting Mikey.
Mikey didn’t look powerful or that impressive in beating former 4 division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner by a 12 round unanimous decision on July 29 on Showtime Boxing. Mikey’s power wasn’t that great at 140, and he got tired after the 6th. Mikey said that he chose to move and box in the second half of the contest, but it looked to a lot of people like he got tired. Cotto is so much bigger and stronger than Mikey. It would be a mismatch. Cotto is solid at 154, and a dangerous puncher.
“I think Miguel would handle him pretty easily,” said Roach. “But, again, it’s probably an exciting fight and whenever you get a Puerto Rican and a Mexican together it’s going to be some fireworks. And Mikey Garcia, you’ve got a lot of balls doing this. You’re a brave guy. But I think he’s biting off more than he can chew. I would love to see that fight.”
It’s a better fight for Cotto to beat up on Mikey than for him to face David Lemieux and get chewed up by him. That’s who Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya wants Cotto to face. De La Hoya wants Cotto to fight Lemieux and then the winner of that fight faces Canelo if he beats Golovkin.
Obviously, Mikey would be taking the fight with Cotto for the payday and to increase his presence with the casual boxing fans. If Mikey can give a good account of himself against Cotto, then it go a long ways towards increasing his star power. Personally, I can’t see it ending well for Mikey. Cotto hits too hard and he would be on a seek and destroy mission from start to finish against the smaller, weaker Mikey. Robert Garcia, the brother and trainer for Mikey Garcia, was recently telling the media that he hits harder than Marcos Maidana. However, when Mikey shared the ring with Broner, it was obvious that he has nowhere near the same power as Maidana possessed during his career.
“Well he’s just too small,” said Roach about Mikey Garcia. ”I mean he just moved up to 40 for the first time and, I mean, he’s just not a very, very big person and so forth. And Miguel, fighting that fight at 54, but the last couple fights before that were at 60 of course…I just think he’s too small for Miguel and Miguel should get to him but, um, obviously there’s other thoughts out there like you think it might be a good fight it sounds like. And it would be a good fight.
It would be a massacre straight up. That’s all I could see happening. It doesn’t matter that Cotto has fought only once in the past 2 years. He’s still lethal at 36, and strong as an ox. The power is still there for Cotto, as we saw in his recent fight against Yoshihiro Kamegai on August 26. Cotto beat Kamegai like a drum in pounding him for 12 rounds to win an easy unanimous decision to capture the vacant WBO junior middleweight title at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. It wasn’t a competitive fight at all, period. It was a mismatch.
“I thought that Mikey Garcia was going to fight Lomachenko and I think he has the right style to beat him but I do like him in that fight but I don’t like him in my fight,” said Roach . ”I mean I like Miguel a lot in that fight, I think he’s just too big for him…I’m sure there’s people out there negotiating already.”
Lomachenko is dragging his feet about fighting Mikey Garcia. The 2-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to share the ring with Mikey. I smell fear. It doesn’t matter. Mikey is hunting for bigger game against Cotto. If he gets that fight, he’ll get a big payday no matter what happens. It works for Mikey to fight Cotto if he can perform well and not get beaten too badly. But if he winds up running from him or getting knocked out, then it hurts his career with the boxing fans. The results of a Cotto-Mikey fight could really hurt Mikey if he gets beaten up.