Garcia Vacates IBF Junior Welterweight Title
In a shocking move, Mikey Garcia has vacated his IBF junior welterweight title, and plans defend his WBC lightweight championship next.
Garcia won the lightweight title on March 10th, in a unanimous decision over Sergey Lipinets. Following the victory, he was left to decide which title to defend, and which title to vacate. due to rules against a fighter defending two titles in separate weight classes.
Per ESPN, the IBF gave Garcia 10 days following his victory over Lipinets to make a decision over which belt he’d be defending, Garcia decided to keep and defend the junior welterweight title.
Yet, keeping the title came with Garcia having a mandatory defense against Ivan Baranchyk. The IBF immediately ordered that fight and asked for negotiations to be complete by April 22. If they weren’t, the IBF would order a purse bid.
Garcia then notified WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman that he would be defending his LIGHTWEIGHT title next, and now Garcia has notified the IBW of his decision.
“The IBF received an email from Mikey Garcia on Sunday indicating that he was relinquishing the IBF junior welterweight title,” IBF president Daryl Peoples told ESPN on Tuesday. “We were a little surprised as well.”
Per Peoples, Baranchyk will get the opportunity to fight for the now-vacant junior welterweight belt.
“We’ll go through the ratings to try to identify the leading available contenders and direct them to begin negotiations,” Peoples said.