Mikey Garcia could have been excused for finding a way out of a postponed fight against obscure lightweight champion Sergey Lipinets.
Instead, he’s shifted to a worse date.
Showtime announced Friday that Riverside’s Garcia (37-0, 30 knockouts) will now seek a fourth division belt on March 10 at San Antonio’s Freeman Coliseum after Lipinets (13-0) suffered a hand injury. forcing cancellation of the Feb. 10 date at the Alamodome.
Garcia, assisted by powerful manager Al Haymon, was originally eyeing a December date, but he withdrew from a Golden Boy Promotions offer to fight four-division champion Miguel Cotto in his farewell fight. The agreement was also expected to lead Garcia toward a spring date with lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
Bypassing Lipinets and waiting for Linares to likely win his bout at the Forum Jan. 27 was one possibility, and the always-tempting idea of striking a deal with super-featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko could’ve been explored.
Now, Garcia’s bid for the fourth belt ranks as the night’s second-most important bout, behind the ESPN-televised featherweight title fight between champion Oscar Valdez and former super-bantamweight champion Scott Quigg of England.
Valdez-Quigg will have the powerful television lead-in of the ACC men’s basketball tournament championship game.
It’s still possible, after Lipinets’ swollen hand showed up on social media this week, that the champion won’t be healed in time to keep March 10.
And, really, that may be best for everyone involved.
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR: The Boxing Writers Assn. of America selected Lomachenko as its fighter of the year Friday after the Ukrainian went 3-0 in 2017 and extended his string of stopping foes on their stool to four.
Lomachenko capped his campaign on Dec. 9 at Madison Square Garden by dominating Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux following victories over Jason Sosa and Miguel Marriaga.
SPENCE RETURNS: Unbeaten International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is taking a bolder, more logical career path than Mikey and Danny Garcia.
Spence won his belt last year by going to England to defeat Kell Brook, and Saturday on Showtime, he’ll meet crafty veteran Lamont Peterson at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“SUPERFLY 2” CARD FILLED: Promoter Tom Loeffler announced a third HBO-televised bout on his Feb. 24 Forum card headlined by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai’s World Boxing Council super-flyweight title defense against Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada.
Donnie Nietes will meet Juan Carlos Reveco for the IBF flyweight belt.
UFC REMATCH NOW ATOP BROOKLYN CARD: The UFC announced Friday that the women’s straw-weight title rematch between new champion Rose Namajunas and former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will now be the main event for its April 7 UFC 223 at Barclays Center.