In November of this year Mikey Garcia got into the ring and scored an eight round TKO over Jonathan Victor Barros. But Barros was not the intended opponent. Garcia was slated to face fellow Mexican Orlando Salido, who grabbed everyone’s attention within the boxing community when he stopped Puerto Rican sensation Juan Manuel Lopez, twice.
However, Salido had to pull out of the fight in November due to an injury. So it was Barros who took on the young, undefeated Garcia, whose record stands at 30-0 with an astounding 26 wins by way of knockout. In just a few weeks from now, January 19, 2013, Garcia will get his shot at Salido as the two are slated to headline a packed card featuring two other championship bouts in Madison Square Garden.
This is not Garcia’s first time fighting in MSG, in fact it is his second. He has been quite successful in the garden; defeating Juan Carlos Martinez in the fourth round via TKO, defending his NABF featherweight title, in October of 2011. It was his fifth win by TKO or KO in a row; he has gotten three more since then. He seems to be on a streak. So what could be different about his next fight?
It is said that Salido is the toughest opponent Garcia has faced as of yet. He is a veteran, a journeyman turned champion, who seems to be on a winning streak of his own; his last five of his victories coming by way of KO or TKO. Before this fight, Barros was touted as Garcia’s toughest opponent thus far. And, well, we saw what happened there.
With a family history steeped in boxing, it is hard not to believe in Garcia, or even respect him as a boxer. Garcia grew up in Oxnard, CA, a community known for producing boxers the likes of Brandon Rios, Victor Ortiz, Carlos Martinez and Fernando Vargas, who was trained by Garcia’s father Eduardo. Garcia’s father was not the only member of his family involved in the sport. His brother Robert was at one time the IBF Super Featherweight champion. He is now a well-respected trainer, with a roster including Marcos Madiana, Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios, Kelly Pavlik, and his very own brother Mikey. Mikey’s brother Daniel was also a boxer, who is now a trainer who at one point trained Victor Ortiz.
One would think that with a family like this, Garcia would have been born with gloves on. This is not the case. Garcia had no interest in boxing until about the age of 14 when he decided to try it one day. He was a natural. His brother Robert has been quoted giving the credit to Mikey’s “god given ability.”
When watching him fight it is clear that he makes it look easy. He is a skillful boxer, with the patience of a saint. He never leaps in to quick, and doesn’t allow time for mistakes. He has power, too. It is his patience that allows him to stick to his game plans devised by his trainers and himself before a fight. It is the game plans that he almost always gives credit to when speaking about the result of a fight. It is his power that supplies the electrifying results.
Miguel Angel Garcia, his formal name, is also a graduate of the Ventura County Police Academy. It can be seen how his organization, patience, and intelligence in the ring can translate to the classroom. It takes a lot to be a boxer, but you must be really special to put your life on the line for complete strangers. And Mikey Garcia is certainly special.