Elio Rojas/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com
Elio Rojas of the Dominican Republic is a former featherweight world champion. But he doesn’t believe he was ever afforded the proper appreciation for that, so that’s one reason why he decided to accept a fight with former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia.
The two will tangle Saturday underneath the featherweight title fight between champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).
“I’m taking this fight because I mean to show the world I’m an elite fighter, and the only way to show it is to beat the elite fighter, which is Garcia,” Rojas said. “That’s why I need to show the world that I’m able to be on top with the big names. I deserve this opportunity because the public never gave me the respect that I deserved.”
Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs)
, of Oxnard, is a former featherweight and super featherweight champion. He has not fought for 2 1/2 years because of a contract dispute with his now-former promoter, Bob Arum.
Rojas (24-2, 14 KOs)
has had a long layoff, as well. He lost his title to Jhonny Gonzalez
via decision in April 2012, took more than two years off, came back and won an eight-round decision over journeyman Robert Osiobe
of Nigeria in August 2014 and has not fought since.