Mikey Garcia put together a history-making performance against a very game Sergey Lipinets. Garcia joined just Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the only men to win world titles from 126 straight up to 140. Mikey, who is now a four weight division world champ, is a superstar in the making and should be on track to get a mega fight with either Jorge Linares or Vasyl Lomachenko. Except those two world champs are scheduled to fight each other, leaving Mikey having to find another option. The five names below are the best options for Garcia’s next opponent.
1) Winner of “Turbo” Terry Flanagan and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker- Either one of these two fighters make perfect sense for the youngest Garcia brother. Mighty Mo is a Texas native and should he beat Flannagan will have established himself not only as a world champ but a legitimate force with name recognition at 140. Mikey has fought many times in Texas and always done good numbers, including a card he headlined in The American Airlines Center in Dallas, Hookers’s hometown. Making the Big D the perfect location for this big unification bout. Should Turbo Terry win, this would be an absolute Mega bout in the UK where Flanagan calls home. Frank Warren has been trying to get Flanagan a mega-bout since he destroyed Diego Magdaleno back in 2015 and has been unable to land his man that huge payday. A unification bout with Pound For Pound elite Mikey Garcia would be that fight.
2) Tank Davis- The 19-0 (18) protege is now 23. He captured the 130-pound IBF strap in January of 2017 with an eye-opening knockout over undefeated Puerto Rican champ Jose Pedraza. He then destroyed undefeated Liam Walsh in three rounds in the UK. Tank missed weight in his first attempt of that fight and then missed weight altogether and surrounded his strap against Francisco Fonseca, before putting together a lackluster performance. The bottom line with Tank is, love him or hate him he is 19-0 he was 3-0 in 2017 with three KO’s, he has likely outgrown the weight class and if he gets past Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar regardless of if he is able to make weight or not he will have another solid name on his belt. He is a major draw and will represent the biggest payday of Mikey Garcia’s career thus far.
3) Robert Easter Jr-The 27-year-old, undefeated IBF lightweight champion was front row to watch Garcia capture the IBF 140-pound strap. He is a tall, long and quick-fisted fighter with a growing fan base. A Garcia/Easter fight had been rumored before and with Mikey wanting to go back down to 135 and unify the belts this is the perfect timing for this bout. Easter may not be the huge money fight Garcia wants but its a good name in a unification bout.
4)Ray Beltran- WBO Lightweight champion Ray Beltran is a rugged Mexican fighter who has become a fan favorite due to his fighting style and battle to remain in this country with his family legally. Despite being 36, Beltran seems to be hitting his stride and looks better than he ever has at any point in his career. He captured the vacant WBO lightweight strap in his last outing and with Linares busy with a different Loma, Beltran represents perhaps the biggest name and draw at 135.
5) Regis Prograis- Is now 29-years old and holds the WBC interim title. Prograis looked unbelievable in destroying Julius Indongo in his last fight. His huge punching power from out of his southpaw stance would create trouble for Mikey and a fan-friendly toe-to-toe slugfest is all but certain in this one. Prograis is the mandatory for the winner of the Amir Imam-Jose Carlos Ramirez bout for the WBC strap. A fight against Mikey would be a much bigger payday and much bigger fight for Prograis.