Earlier in 2014, Mikey Garcia adduced the fact that it was getting too difficult to make weight at 130 lbs., with his weight reaching as high as 161 lbs. As a result, in October 2014, Garcia vacated his junior lightweight title to make a move up to 140, albeit Garcia’s initial choice was 135 lbs.
Unfortunately, Garcia’s absence is due, in part, to legal issues with his promoter, Bob Arum. We have heard this soap opera before.
Although Garcia has been out of the ring for a while, he is still considered one of the best. The risk that comes with being inactive is being rusty when it’s time to step back inside the ring. Garcia told Tha Boxing Voice’s Sean Zittel that he has been training and sent a message to the fighters who may presume that Garcia is assailable.
“When they see me in the ring, and they get the first couple of rounds out, they’ll see if I’m rusty or not,” said a candid Garcia. “They’re going to get surprised. There’s no date yet, so I can’t even really say that, but I don’t feel I’m showing any signs of rustiness. I’ve stayed in the gym. I’ve stayed active, sparring and training just to make sure I don’t feel that and I don’t get rusty.”
Garcia added that he had been training as if he was preparing for a real fight, he just does not have a specified date of return.
“We’re training every day sparring two-three times a week getting the rounds in. We believe that’s the best way to stay ready. We don’t have to start at zero when I do comeback and trying to get to fight mode in six weeks. That’s not going to happen. But if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready kind of.”
Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions are no stranger to disputes. In 1995, Arum was fined $125,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for bribing the IBF president in order to gain a better rating for one of his fighters. In January 2004, FBI agents raied Arum’s Top Rank Office in Las Vegas while the latter was on vacation.
The investigation stemmed from allegations that Top Rank was involved in fixing De La Hoya-Mosley II, albeit that De La Hoya lost and was promoting Oscar at the time. No charges were filed. In 2007, Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was promoted by Arum for 11 years, accused the long-time promoter of shortchanging him. Mayweather claimed that Arum owed him money from his fights against Arturo Gatti (11/2005) and Zab Judah (4/2006).
Arum admitted that he did owe Mayweather money, but that Floyd owed him just as much. We could go on and on. Bob Arum has a long history of dereliction of duty and unprofessionalism. Mikey Garcia is just the latest victim. “It’s a lot of litigation, a lot of politics and business. It just takes time,” Garcia dejectedly stated.
Garcia managed to throw a smile in there, but everyone could tell it was not genuine. Garcia wants to get back in the ring as soon as possible.
“If it was up to me, we would have settled a long time ago, but it’s not like that. It’s not really just me that’s involved, and it’s not that easy for me to just fix everything. We’re optimistic. We hope we can get back soon. Once we do come back, I don’t plan on stopping. I don’t plan on taking breaks. I want to get back and come forward, solid, good year-after-year. There’s no stopping me.
Another fighter that has had similar problems is Andre Ward. Ward’s problems come from a combination of shoulder injuries and promotional issues with the late Dan Goossen. Garcia acknowledges that Ward is in a similar situation, admitting that they have never spoken on the issue, but had praise for the undefeated super-middleweight fighter.
“I have never spoken to him directly about that. I’ve met him and seen him a couple times. I know he’s been inactive longer than I have, but we don’t speak on that. I don’t ask him those kind of questions, but I’m sure he’s also ready to get back. A fighter with that kind of talent like he has, it is frustrating that you can’t display that. You can’t show the fans what you are capable of doing. It seems like now he signed with Roc Nation and he’s probably going to be ready to jump in and show everybody that he’s still there. He’s got more years to prove everybody.”