Boxing is a sport that has often been called “the theater of the unexpected.” Nothing is a guarantee in this sport and anything can happen in that ring once the bell sounds. We’ve all seen it many times in the past where fighters have plans for a big fight in their future, while already having a fight scheduled with a supposedly lesser opponent, and end up suffering a shocking upset loss, subsequently crushing their dreams in the process. Josesito Lopez was the latest example of this when he stopped the heavily favored Victor Ortiz this past June, consequently destroying Ortiz’ lucrative fight with Mexican superstar, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez that was tentatively set for September 15. Oxnard, California’s top featherweight contender, Mikey Garcia, finds himself in a similar situation as he takes on former WBA World Featherweight Champion, Jonathan Victor Barros.
Garcia has been trying to secure himself a title shot for over a year now but just can’t seem to get any of the champions in the ring with him.”We were in negotiations with (Celestino) Caballero and his team, to get the fight going. I was his mandatory challenger. I was ranked number one in the world by the WBA, a title that he held at the time. We were pushing for that title opportunity. We actually signed the contract. I signed my contract as soon as I got it, Caballero took a little longer to sign his but he also signed the contract, so we were getting ready to go, “ claimed Garcia. But, as we’ve seen many times in the past, signed contracts don’t always mean that a fight will take place. “Soon after he signed his contract he started having disputes with the promoter Sampson (Lewkowicz) over the location, venue, and date of the fight. He was postponing the date and changing the venue here and there. They ended up saying forget the date that they had offered, July 28. They said forget that. We’re going to move it to September. I said okay as long as it still going,” Garcia explained. The negotiations seemed to be moving along smoothly until another road block materialized. Garcia went on to say, “Then he kept saying, ‘I want to fight there. I want to fight in Panama. I want to fight here,’ so it was something between Caballero or his advisor. Whoever it was, they were the ones having the dispute. I was just in the middle. We were just waiting to see what they would decide, but when we saw that it was going to take to long and I started feeling that he was looking for a way out, we decided to forget about Caballero and move on to a possible fight with (Orlando) Salido.”
WBO Featherweight Champion, Orlando Salido became the next target in Garcia’s sights. Salido and Garcia were tenatively set to meet at the Wynn Las Vegas on November 10 in the main event of an HBO “Boxing After Dark” card. Unfortunately for Garcia, Salido broke his right index finger when his hand was accidently slammed in a car door, therefore forcing the fight to be postponed and later cancelled altogether.
Garcia decided to keep his original November 10th date and chose Jonathan Victor Barros as a replacement opponent. “I could have waited. They asked me if I wanted to hold off and wait, but my last real fight basically was in March. My last fight was two rounds against (Mauricio) Pastrana. I went in there and landed a good right hand and he went down and that was it. I needed another fight, that’s why I took the November 10th fight. I told them give me that date. Give me a good fighter so I can stay active,” he explained.
When asked about a possible let down due to the change of opponents Garcia said, “I know its not going to the big fight like the Salido fight would have been. I know it’s not going to be the same motivation. There is no title on the line. But, I got to also know and I already know that if I lose this fight I aint getting that Salido fight. It’s taken me two years to work my way up to try and land a title shot. If I lose this fight, it will take me another two years to get back where I am now, so I can’t afford to lose this fight.”
Although Jonathan Victor Barros may not be as tough an opponent that Salido may have been, he is still no walk in the park. He is a former world champion and it should also be noted that he holds a victory over the highly regarded former WBA Featherweight Champion, Celestino Caballero. Garcia will have to bring his “A” game on November 10 to keep his dreams of a title shot and future fight with Orlando Salido alive.
Listen to the full interview here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thaboxingvoiceradioshow/2012/10/14/kelly-the-ghost-pavlik-miguel-mikey-ngel-garca