Mikey Garcia’s return to boxing has opened up the possibility of a number of delicious match-ups in 2017 and beyond with the former two-division champion.
The job of programming such fights will be left to Showtime boxing chief Stephen Espinoza, who mentioned the volatile Adrien Broner as a possible big-name opponent for Garcia if he wins on Jan. 28. Garcia is set to face lightweight titleholder Dejan Zlaticanin at the MGM Grand. The contrasting personas and fighting styles of Garcia, 28, and Broner, 27, would surely appeal to fight fans.
“If (Garcia is) at 140, you can sort of mix and match some of the names on this slate and I’d like to say somewhere in the future — a Adrien Broner-Mikey Garcia fight, maybe at 140,” Espinoza told RingTV.com on Tuesday after Showtime announced seven intriguing fights for 2016-17. “It’s just my idea. You can’t get ahead of yourselves. Mikey has to see how he feels at 135.”
But a match-up involving Garcia, who graduated from the Ventura County Police Academy in 2010, and Broner, whose constant run-ins with the police have made him a staple of TMZ, would be enticing. Garcia is a pound-for-pound type talent who returned from a more than two-year layoff to stop Elio Rojas in July.
Broner is a four-division champion who hasn’t fought since April and has battled the scales, his own demons and penchant for self-destructive behavior as much as he’s went to war with opponents. A fight between Garcia and Broner could be promoted as “Good vs…Broner.”
“I think Mikey is a guy who is very goal oriented,” Espinoza said of a long-term game-plan for Garcia. “If you’ve ever spoken to him, he has very specific objectives. His first objective is to get a world title and Zlaticanin was the quickest way to do that. And the next goal is pound-for-pound lists. I can see him campaigning at either 135 or ’40 in a couple years — depending on where he feels more comfortable. If he feels comfortable at 135, I think he’s there for a long time.”
But if Garcia (35-0, 29 knockouts) jumps to 140, he could land in Broner’s lap, and Espinoza would be happy to make the fight on Showtime. For his part, Broner (32-2, 24 knockouts) is scheduled to take on Adrian Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) on Feb. 11 at 140 pounds on Showtime Championship Boxing at a venue to be determined.
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