WBC Names Mikey Garcia Emeritus Champion, Lightweight Title Now Vacant

Mikey Garcia's reign as the WBC lightweight title champion is officially over.

The WBC announced that Garcia has been named Emeritus champion, meaning that he is no longer the lightweight world champion. The Emeritus champion label, a rare title given to boxers, allows for a titleholder "to resolve specific situations, which prevent them to actively defend their WBC world championship."

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Garcia last fought in March when he unsuccessfully challenged for the IBF welterweight title against Errol Spence Jr. Spence defeated Garcia by unanimous decision to retain the title in the main event of a pay-per-view card from AT&T Stadium.

As for what is the fate of the now-vacant lightweight title, the WBC would likely order Luke Campbell, the mandatory challenger to the title, to fight the highest-ranked available contender. As it stands, the next man down the WBC rankings would be WBC Silver champion Zaur Abdullaev, followed by Devin Haney, then Teofimo Lopez.

One thing to note is that the rankings do not reflect the results of the Top Rank Boxing card from Madison Square Garden on April 20, which saw Lopez knock out Edis Tatli, who is ranked No. 9 by the WBC. The organization stated that it will make a decision on who will be the boxer that will be granted the opportunity to fight Campbell for the title.

Garcia, who has won world titles in four different weight classes, has held the WBC 135-pound title since January 2017 when he knocked out Dejan Zlaticanin. Garcia's title reign, however, has been filled with fights taking place outside of lightweight. After beating Zlaticanin, Garcia moved up in weight for his next two fights, against Adrien Broner and then against Sergey Lipinets to win the IBF junior welterweight title. Garcia has only defended the lightweight title once in a unification fight against Robert Easter Jr. in July 2018.

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