Multi-division champion Mikey Garcia has elected to drop his freshly acquired IBF super lightweight title in favor of returning to lightweight, where he holds the WBC title. As a result, mandatory challenger Ivan Baranchyk will fight for the vacant IBF belt on a later date.
Garcia (38-0, 30 KO) outslugged Sergey Lipinets for the title last month in a terrific back-and-forth affair, and while it would be nice to see him ply his craft against some of the scarier customers at 140, the most interesting fights for him at the moment (Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares) are waiting for him at 135.
According to FightNews, his current top contenders at lightweight are:
1. Yvan Mendy
2. Luke Campbell
3. Javier Fortuna
4. Richard Commey
5. Masayoshi Nakatani
There’s also, as Dan Rafael points out, a unification bout with former foe Robert Easter Jr. to consider.
Honestly, I’m happy to watch Garcia against anyone in either division’s elite. Fingers crossed he’s back in the ring soon.