Mikey Garcia is hunting for big game in and around the 140-pound class, but do not expect Josh Taylor, the division’s unified champion, to pop up on his list of potential targets anytime soon.
Chalk it up to boxing politics.
Garcia, a four-division titleholder, recently said he was all for taking on the Scotsman, but he, perhaps better than anyone else in the sport, knows that the fact that Taylor is aligned with promoter Top Rank makes that fight nothing more than a pipe dream. Garcia was once promoted by Top Rank before he came to blows with the company, which led to a protracted and acrimonious lawsuit that eventually ended in a settlement.
“Taylor would be a great matchup,” Garcia recently told FightHype.com, before adding, with a shrug, “I just have to remind you that he’s with Top Rank.”
Although Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) has hinted over the years of possibly doing business with Top Rank, it is clear from his latest comments that no love has been lost between the two sides and that the prospect of doing business together, moreover, remains a nonstarter.
On a personal level, however, Garcia was enthusiastic about a matchup involving the southpaw Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) After all, Taylor became a unified champion by defeating Garcia’s stablemate, Jose Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs), in May.
“I would love to fight, Taylor,” continued Garcia. “He fought a very good fight [against Ramirez]. Ramirez was doing well. He started to gain momentum, then Taylor caught him and dropped him and then took over in those middle rounds. And then Ramirez recovered and closed fairly strong. I thought it was a very close fight. I think Taylor did what he needed to do. He fought smarter.”
Garcia said he would never turn down an offer to fight Taylor. But, as always, business – and politics, perhaps – come first.
“When has a fighter said ‘no’ to a good fight?” said Garcia. “Every fighter wants to fight the good fights. But you have to remind people that there’s a business side to it, where a promoter looks at the business side of it, before legacy and the interest of the fighter. He looks at the business first. The managers do the same, the networks. You gotta go through a bunch of other things to determine whether a fight is possible or not.”
Garcia last fought in 2020, against welterweight Jessie Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs), earning a unanimous decision. He is reported to be in talks to face former 140-pound titleholder Regis Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs) in the fall.