Mikey Garcia mentioned him as a potential opponent, and now unbeaten welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is planning to be near ringside at Staples Center on Saturday night to watch.
Riverside-trained Garcia (38-0, 30 knockouts) will defend his World Boxing Council lightweight belt and try to add the International Boxing Federation version belonging to Ohio’s Robert Easter Jr. (21-0, 14 KOs) in the Showtime-televised main event.
A spokesman for Premier Boxing Champions told The Times on Wednesday that Texas’ Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) is coming to Los Angeles following Garcia’s expression of interest in a bout later this year. A December date has been penciled in for Spence’s next bout.
“We’ll see how that [Garcia-Easter] materializes,” PBC spokesman Tim Smith said. “If it’s makeable, it’ll get made.”
While Garcia’s own brother-trainer, Robert Garcia, and Saturday fight promoter Richard Schaefer have expressed disinterest in Mikey Garcia’s risking defeat while making such a bold move up in weight against one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound talents, the boxer was delighted to hear Spence is coming.
“Nice! That’s a good sign and that [December date] makes it a lot easier,” Garcia said. “That’s promising.
“Believe me, when we get there, I’m going to turn all the doubters into believers.”
Garcia defeated Adrien Broner by unanimous decision in a 140-pound fight last year, then captured his fourth division title in March by defeating light-welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets by decision.
Spence, at 147 pounds, crushed underdog challenger Carlos Ocampo in June, knocking him out in the first round with a destructive body shot.
Garcia, 30, said he seeks a stiff, high-profile challenge to underline his talent.
“I didn’t know [Spence] was coming, but if he’s coming, that shows interest,” Garcia said. “He has obviously heard what I’ve been saying and is paying close attention.”