BoxingAfrica.com has learned that WBC/IBF world lightweight champion Mikey Garcia is still pursuing a fight with IBF world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
Garcia is mandated by the IBF to defend his 135lb. world title versus number-one contender Richard Commey. After multiple delays on the calling of the purse bid, it was cancelled entirely as both sides purportedly reached an agreement.
Both Garcia, 30, 39-0 (30 KOs), and Commey, 31, 27-2 (24 KOs), were to send in their signed contracts to the IBF by Friday. Team Commey sent theirs in on Thursday. Garcia did not, thus forcing the IBF to take action again.
In a letter to involved parties, they stated:
On August 13, 2018 the IBF ordered IBF/WBC Champion Mikey Garcia and #1, Richard Commey to begin negotiations for the IBF Lightweight Championship mandatory defense fight. They could not reach an amicable agreement within the time frame set by the IBF. Therefore, the IBF will call for purse bids to be held in these offices on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 12 Noon.
Commey took to Twitter to declare his disgust over the situation.
The @IBFUSBAboxing have just called for purse bids because they didn’t receive @mikeygarcia signed contract, if you don’t want to fight me just say so and vacate the title! @loudibella @Mickey_Moo @KBouhairie @BoxingGhana @premierboxing @Streetwisemgt @WorldBoxingNews @WBCBoxing
— Richard Commey (@RichardCommey) October 19, 2018
While Garcia has not publicly declared his intentions, his older brother and trainer Robert Garcia Sr. told FightHype.com, “Right now, I don’t know if that mandatory [Commey] is official either. As of right now, I’m thinking Mikey is probably going to take that challenge against Errol Spence Jr.”
BoxingAfrica.com has learned that negotiations for a Garcia-Spence bout are still ongoing. Nevertheless, a decision must be made regarding the IBF world title. If Garcia proceeds with the Commey bout, it’s likely to occur in late January in the United States, either Las Vegas or New York.
If Garcia vacates or is stripped, Commey could fight IBF number-three contender Isa Chaniev of Russia for the vacant world title. Such a bout would occur toward the end of the year.
Ghana’s Commey, 31, 27-2 (24 KOs), became the mandatory challenger in March by stopping previously-unbeaten Alejandro Luna via sixth-round TKO.
Garcia, considered one of the world’s best fighters, is a four-division world champion. He unified the WBC and IBF world lightweight titles last June, with a unanimous decision over then-IBF beltholder Robert Easter Jr.
Given their styles, Garcia-Commey is a potential Fight of the Year candidate. Commey has shown marked improvement since relocating from Ghana to New York. He is currently trained by Andre Rozier, who also trains former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. He’s registered two KOs since, first versus Luna and then again in August, stopping Yardley Cruz in two.