Last week, lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia turned down an offer to unify against Jorge Linares in early 2018. However, there is a reason behind it.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to FightNights.com that a lightweight world title unification bout is still in the works between WBC titleholder Mikey Garcia and IBF titlist Robert Easter.
The Los Angeles Times initially reported on Oct. 10 that Easter could land the fight either on Dec. 16 or an undisclosed date in January. Now, with WBO middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders defending his title against David Lemieux on the earlier date, it appears less likely that the bout will take place this year.
Garcia (37-0, 30 KO’s), 29, of Moreno Valley, California, also turned down an opportunity in October to face junior middleweight world titleholder, Miguel Cotto. He was reportedly offered $2 million to face the future Hall of Famer, plus a $500,000 bonus for winning in the first of a four-fight deal.
Garcia knocked out Dejan Zlaticanin with a blistering right hand in the third round to win the WBC lightweight world title in January and followed it up with a one-sided decision victory over former four-division titlist Adrien Broner in a July 29 welterweight bout at Barclays Center.
Easter (20-0, 14 KO’s), 26, of Toledo, Ohio, an alternate on the U.S. Olympic team in 2012, won a vacant 135-pound title by split decision over Richard Commey and has made two defenses, taking unanimous decisions over Luis Ortiz in February and Denis Shafikov in June.
It was reported by a local Toledo, Ohio news station on Saturday that the fight was official. However, sources denied those claims, including Easter himself.
“People no fight is OFFICIAL stop with the rumors!!,” Easter said on Twitter.