Garcia says he gave weight ultimatum for Broner
A three-division world champion at the age of 23, and one of the youngest four-division world champions in boxing history, Broner remains one of the most accomplished and popular athletes – and perhaps the most polarizing – in the sport today. Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) is unbeaten at or below 140 pounds with his only two losses coming against welterweight world champions Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter.
The 29-year-old Mikey Garcia is undefeated (36-0, 30 KOs) and coming off a WBC lightweight world title he won in January. Garcia is moving up in weight for the second time in just three fights to challenge Broner.
Q: Tell us why you took this fight at 140 and what your plans are on July 29.
A: “It is the biggest fight available for me right now. Originally my plan was to unify at 135. If that was not available I would look at a big name to defend my title at lightweight but that wasn’t quite available. Adrien Broner is a much bigger name and a bigger star who has accomplished a lot in the sport. So, it just made more sense to go and pursue the Adrien Broner fight than a regular title defense.”
Q: Is the move up to 140 a temporary stop? Do you want to come back to 135 to defend the title or do you just figure there are bigger names at that  weight class?
A: “I would like to come back down to lightweight and unify the titles or defend my title before making a permanent move up. But, because this fight was available right now and it’s a much bigger fight than anything else at the lightweight division—like I mentioned earlier, that’s why we’re moving up to 140. If unification matches are available at 135 later this year, then that’s what I’m going to go after.”
Q: Did you think to yourself ‘I’d like to fight Adrien Broner’? Was it brought to your attention or did you maybe mention it to one of your people? How was it brought to your attention?
A: “We had already talked about a possible matchup between us two, but later in the year. When we couldn’t find anything else available that made sense, nothing big enough at lightweight, then we looked at the 140-pound division or someone that could possibly make a big name. And, Adrien Broner’s name came up along with Stephen [Espinoza] who had also brought it up to me, we were able to look into Adrien Broner and gladly everything worked out. His team accepted and I think this is the biggest fight that we can both get right now in our careers.”
Q: Did your team try to get the weight at even lower than 140 or they bring it to you at higher than 140 and you were able to settle on the division weight limit? How did the discussion of what weight would this would be at, go?
A: “I made it clear that I’m still a lightweight and my best division right now is at 135. So, I would not go any higher than 140 pounds for this fight with Adrien. I made that very clear from the beginning, that if there was any discussion or talks about a fight with Adrien Broner it would not be anything higher than 140 pounds. I’m glad Adrien Broner and his team agreed to that weight.”
Q: Was there any hesitation from Broner’s team about that weight?
A: “Not that I’m aware of because I had heard that he also stated that he was coming back to 140 pounds.”
Q: What weight do you think Broner has been best at?
A: “Everything changes as the body grows and matures. When he was at 130 and 135 he was very strong, very fast. Then, at welterweight he made that big jump to welterweight and also looked very, very good. But in recent fights he’s had some other issues outside the ring, distractions and stuff that might be cause for some of the lack-luster performances on some of his fights. But, the skills are there and the talent is still there. So, I can’t comment on a specific weight class and he’s also fighting bigger men in bigger fights at welterweight and 140 pounds, and that’s also maybe some of the reason why he’s unable to finish the guys or look tremendous like he used to. But, you can’t deny the talent.”