Robert Garcia wants Juan Manuel Lopez for brother Mikey

USA TODAY Sports

Trainer Robert Garcia would prefer that little brother and WBO featherweight champ Mikey Garcia face Juan Manuel Lopez due to his name value, rather than Orlando Cruz.

Mikey Garcia will be back this summer to defend the WBO featherweight title he won from Orlando Salido in January, and two names have been consistently brought up as potential opponents: Puerto Ricans Juan Manuel Lopez, which would be a catchweight fight, and WBO contender Orlando Cruz.

Robert Garcia, Mikey's older brother and trainer, says he'd rather see Mikey in the ring with Lopez, due to his name value:

"I would personally prefer JuanMa Lopez because its a bigger name on Mikey's record, but Orlando Cruz has been making a lot of noise lately and has picked up some good wins so both would be good fights. JuanMa is the bigger name though so hopefully it happens," Garcia told BoxingScene Radio.

Lopez (32-2, 29 KO) definitely still has a bigger name than Cruz (20-2-1, 10 KO), but it's not the difference it once was. Lopez isn't going to be the P4P-type contender his hype men told us early in his pro career, but he's always in exciting fights, and both of his losses to Salido were Fight of the Year contenders.

Cruz, quite frankly, is notable almost entirely because he's boxing's first openly gay boxer. The "good wins" that Garcia mentions aren't really that good, and this is still a guy who wasn't good enough to go more than five rounds against Cornelius Lock, let alone a three-round loss to Daniel Ponce De Leon.

Still, Cruz is as deserving of a world title shot as, you know, a lot of dudes that get world title shots. And given that Garcia-Lopez would have to be a catchweight (probably 128 lbs) since Lopez won't fight at featherweight anymore, if you're one of these "purists" (?) who hate catchweights, that's the better option for you, too.

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