Mikey Garcia already has an opponent for his newly-won IBF lightweight title if he so chooses to defend it next.
According to Boxing News, The IBF has sent a letter to Garcia congratulating him on his July 28 win over Robert Easter Jr. to unify the WBC and IBF titles, but also tell Garcia that he has to defend his title against mandatory challenger Richard Commey. The IBF told Garcia he has until August 30 to reach a deal with Commey or else a purse bid will be ordered.
This comes days after Garcia beating Easter on Showtime and then publicly issue a challenge to IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., to which Spence said he would want the fight to happen next.
This isn’t the first time Garcia has been dealt with a choice between keeping an IBF title or change weight classes for a shot at another IBF title. When Garcia won the IBF junior welterweight title with a win over Sergey Lipinets back in March, the IBF ordered him to defend his title against mandatory challenger Ivan Baranchyk. After initially agreeing to keep the IBF 140-pound title and face Baranchyk, Garcia would later vacate the title to go back to lightweight and face Easter in a unification bout.
Both Garcia and Spence publicly said they want the fight and such a fight would likely take place later this year. If Garcia is successful in beating Spence and win the IBF welterweight title, Garcia would become the sixth man in boxing history to win a major world title in five different weight classes.
Commey, the No. 1 ranked lightweight in the IBF rankings, had lost a close decision to Easter back in 2016 with the vacant title on the line. Since then, Commey has won two of his last three fights and will be fighting on the undercard of the Andre Berto vs. Devon Alexander fight in New York on August 4.
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