If you haven’t heard of Mikey Garcia, that’s not entirely a surprise. Although a supremely talented fighter and the current lightweight champion, prior to 2016 he was away for a while. The absence was the result of legal entanglements with former promoter Top Rank Boxing. By now that’s an all too familiar storyline in the world of boxing. In his first fights of the post-Top Rank era Garcia went on to win a third world title in a third weight class and silence the likes of Adrien Broner. In March he added a fourth world title in his fourth weight class – a benchmark for boxing immortality. This Saturday, Garcia looks to add to boxing history as he seeks to unify the lightweight titles, when he faces Robert Easter. With the likes of the Mayweather’s, Cotto’s and Pacquiao’s of the world exiting stage left, boxing needs new superstars. Here are a few more reasons why Mikey Garcia may well answer the call.
The Garcia Family is Like the Camelot of Boxing
Like many who choose to make pugilism their craft, Garcia came from very humble beginnings. He has said that his father immigrated from Mexico, and that his parents were both strawberry pickers. He recounts that he spent his childhood growing up in a “gang-related neighborhood” in Oxnard, California.
Speaking of Oxnard, it is better known as “Boxnard”, as it has become ground zero for generating boxing talent in the U.S. Case in point, Garcia’s father, Eduardo, was an amateur boxer and trainer of world champion boxer Fernando Vargas. If that weren’t enough, his older brother, Roberto was also a professional boxer and a former IBF Super Featherweight Champion who lost his belt to the late Diego Corrales – there is no shame in that – who is now a hall of fame trainer in his own right. Garcia is yet another and perhaps the best to come out of the brood.
He is His Own Man
As we previously mentioned Garcia was out of action for a couple of years. A dispute with his promoter Bob Arum the cause of his absence. Yet, Garcia took the road less traveled, he fought it out in another venue – court and won his freedom. In taking this path he sought the counsel of another great who forged his career in this manner – Floyd Mayweather. The result, Garcia now fights for no one but himself. While the forced vacation was frustrating he has no regrets, as he told FightHype.com “I don’t have any regrets because I learned so much more [about this business] and I proved a point. I stuck to my guns, I fought for what I believe is right. You know it’s not okay for promoters to try to take advantage of fighters. They sometimes do, they’re able to get away with it a lot of times and fighters aren’t able to do anything about it. I was lucky enough to be able to fight in the legal court and go all the way.” Garcia was woke, before woke was a thing. Plus, you’ve got to respect someone that’s their own man.
Known as a patient fighter with good punching power and a natural right-hander who likes to switch to southpaw during some of his fights. At 37-0 Garcia has yet to taste defeat in his 12-year career. 28 of those wins have come by KO. When a fighter gets to this deep into the win column without tasting defeat, the casual fan begins to take notice. The “watch” to see if a fighter can be defeated begins. What’s more impressive in Garcia’s case, is that he just seems to be hitting his stride. Our point, one can expect even better performances at this stage of his career.
He’s in Line for Bigger Fights
Undefeated fighters tend to have a bullseye on them. Everyone wants to be the guy to take your zero. Should Garcia unify the lightweight titles on Saturday that target will continue to grow exponentially, by and large because the dollar signs attached to a fighter grow. Just ask Floyd Mayweather. Our point, should Garcia beat Eastman greater fights loom. He’s now entering Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight territory. Both divisions loaded with talent. The likes of Terrence Crawford, Lucas Matthysse or a Vasyl Lomachenko are all immediate possibilities.
While the outcome of the Eastman fight is unknown, what we can say is that win, lose or draw Mikey Garcia will make next Saturday night special.