WBC President: Mikey Garcia Still Lightweight Champion Despite 140-Pound Title Quest

Even though Mikey Garcia is moving up in weight to challenge for the IBF junior welterweight title, the WBC will allow Garcia to keep his WBC lightweight title.

When it was announced that Garcia would be moving up in weight to challenge for Sergey Lipinets' title, there was some confusion as to whether or not Garcia's lightweight title would be stripped. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said on Twitter that Garcia will keep his title so long as he fulfills the mandatory challenge he received to fight WBA and WBC Silver champion Jorge Linares.

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Garcia and Linares were negotiating a fight to unify the WBA and WBC lightweight titles, but Garcia declined the fight because he had a bigger fight purse in store, presumably referring to Lipinets. Linares would then later agree to defend his WBA lightweight title against Mercito Gesta on January 27 in Inglewood, California and that fight will be shown on HBO.

The Garcia-WBC situation had a different result than what the WBA decided in regards to super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rigondeaux was ordered to fight Moises Flores, but instead chose to fight super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko and now Rigondeaux faces the probable risk of having his title stripped.

Meanwhile, Garcia and Lipinets will headline a Showtime Championship Boxing card on February 10 in San Antonio, Texas. Garcia won the WBC lightweight title in January against Dejan Zlaticanin, but never defended the title. Garcia moved up in weight to fight Broner earlier this summer. Garcia defeated Broner in a lopsided decision at the Barclays Center on Showtime.

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