Former featherweight titlist Mikey Garcia may move up to 130 pounds officially for his next fight, and could move right into a world title fight, though he also may have to travel for the bout. Garcia is "being steered toward" a fight with WBO super featherweight titleholder Rocky Martinez in Puerto Rico on September 21, according to a report at BoxingScene.com by Jake Donovan.
Garcia (32-0, 27 KO) missed weight and lost his 126-pound belt on the scales on Friday, but no ill effects showed on Saturday night, when me mowed down Juan Manuel Lopez in four rounds. Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KO) won the vacant WBO 130-pound belt last September, beating Miguel Beltran Jr in a terrific fight on the Chavez-Martinez undercard. Since then, he's defended twice in another pair of entertaining bouts, drawing with Juan Carlos Burgos and beating Diego Magdaleno.
Garcia-Martinez would probably be a career-best payday for Martinez, and he'd have home field advantage, at least if these early talks turn out to be the real deal. Garcia would have a chance to win a title in a second weight class, which is the sort of thing that's becoming cheaper and cheaper, to the point we might soon stop even mentioning how many weight classes guys have won titles in, since Garcia would have had a whopping zero defenses of his first-ever world title and all that, but that's just a whole other story, and my point is, it's an opportunity for Mikey to pick up another world title, which makes him a guy to chase and a headline fighter at 130.
Garcia says he may stay at 126 pounds, but if the Robert Garcia camp has learned anything from Brandon Rios' struggles to make 135 in his last two fights at that weight in 2011-12, then hopefully it's that trying to force a weight class is a lousy idea. Garcia's 25 and possibly just getting too big for featherweight. A move to 130 is inevitable, anyway, and his body seems to be telling him it's time.