Mikey Garcia brimming with confidence ahead of first fight in 2 1/2 years

Mikey Garcia speaks at Thursday’s final news conference/Photo by Ed Diller, Dibella Entertainment

 

Some fighters might be a bit worried about having a fight for the first time in 2 1/2 years. Not Mikey Garcia. He’s brimming with as much confidence as ever.

“I have better skills than any fighter put in front of me,” said Garcia, who Saturday will take on Elio Rojas in a junior welterweight bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime). “This will be the beginning of the next stage of my career, the most memorable part of my career.

Garcia, who was speaking at Thursday’s final news conference, has not fought since January 2014, when he defended his super featherweight title with a wide decision over Juan Carlos Burgos at Madison Square Garden.

Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs) then got into a contract hassle with his then-promoter, Bob Arum, and has not fought since. Garcia, who has won titles at featherweight and super featherweight, is now a free agent.

Rojas (24-2, 14 KOs), of the Dominican Republic, is expecting to beat Garcia.

“In this fight, I know I’m being brought in as an opponent,” said Rojas, a former featherweight champion. “But I’m going to let the fans know that I’m not just an opponent.

“I know who Mikey Garcia is. I have all the abilities to win on July 30. I’ve always been a boxer who was never protected. I always prepare to win the fight and this will be no exception.”

Rojas has had a layoff of 23 months.

Garcia-Rojas will fight underneath the featherweight world-title fight between champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland.

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Elio Rojas will be eager to show he still has ‘elite’ ability when he fights Mikey Garcia underneath Santa Cruz-Frampton

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.
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Mikey Garcia doesn’t buy notion he’ll have ring rust in comeback fight

MIkey Garcia shakes out for reporters Tuesday at City of Angels Boxing Gym in Los Angeles/Photo by Esther Lin, Showtime

It’s always interesting to hear fighters try to convince themselves that sparring is the same as a real fight, or at least close. By and large, that’s the type of comment a fighter coming off a long layoff will make. It’s what Mikey Garcia told reporters Tuesday during a workout at City of Angels Boxing Gym in Los Angeles.

Garcia on July 30 will make his long-awaited return to the ring following a hiatus of 2 1/2 years, no thanks to a contract dispute with his former promoter Bob Arum. Garcia will take on Elio Rojas of the Dominican Republic in a 10-round junior welterweight bout underneath the featherweight title fight between champion Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).

Garcia was asked about the difficulty of shaking the cobwebs after being out of the ring so long. His response was curious, but not surprising.

“I don’t believe there will be ring rust because I was never really outside of the ring,” said Garcia, of Oxnard. “I’ve been in the gym the whole time, sparring and training. I would spar 10 or 12 rounds, just to do it. Not because I had a fight, but just to keep me active. I know it seems like a long time, but I don’t really see it. I feel like I was gone six months.”

Garcia, 28, is 34-0 with 28 knockouts. He has won titles in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions. Although this fight is at junior welterweight, afterward he wants to move down to lightweight.

Rojas, 33, is a former featherweight champion. He is 24-2 with 14 knockouts and is perhaps the perfect opponent for Garcia as he himself has been out of the ring nearly two years.

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Mikey Garcia to return July 30 in Brooklyn after layoff of nearly 2 1/2 years

ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE After a lengthy legal battle with Top Rank, Oxnard's Mikey Garcia is free to sign with another promotional company and hopes to get back into the ring in the near future.

Mike Garcia of Oxnard will come out of a 2 1/2-year layoff on July 30/Associated Press file photo

 

Mikey Garcia has not fought in nearly 2 1/2 years, no thanks to contractual issues with his former promoter – Top Rank Inc. Don’t look now, but Garcia is back and the ultra-talented former world champion will make his long-awaited return to the ring when he takes on Elio Rojas on July 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime).

Garcia was one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world before his long layoff, having won world titles in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions while going 34-0 with 28 knockouts. Suffice to say, he can’t wait to get back in there.

“I just have to get one fight in,” said Garcia, 28, of Oxnard. “This first fight with Elio will be somewhere between 135 (lightweight) and 140 pounds (junior welterweight), but I want to fight at 135 and win a title there. I want to win a title there and keep going after champion after champion. Now that all that (uncertainty) is behind me, I look forward to the next stage of my career. This next stage of my career will be what people remember me for.”

Garcia last fought on Jan. 25, 2014 when he defended his super featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Garcia and Rojas (24-2, 14 KOs) – a former featherweight champion from the Dominican Republic – will fight underneath the featherweight title fight between champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland.

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Mikey Garcia, Lamont Peterson get Saturday night victories in N.Y. and D.C.

Rivals Top Rank Inc. and Golden Boy Promotions on Saturday once again went up against each other with nationally televised shows on the same night.

Over at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Mikey Garcia of Oxnard retained his super featherweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos of Mexico. Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs) won by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109. Burgos is 30-2-2.

In the semi-main event, heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings (18-0, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia stopped Artur Szpilka (16-1) of Poland in the 10th round.

That Top Rank card was televised by HBO.

Over at DC Armory in Washington D.C., Lamont Peterson of Washington D.C. defended his super lightweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Dierry Jean of Canada. Peterson (32-2-1) won by scores of 115-13, 116-112 and 118-111. Jean is 25-1.

In the semi-main event, junior middleweight Jermell Charlo of Houston remained undefeated with a 10-round unanimous decision over tough Gabriel Rosado (21-8) of Philadelphia. Charlo (23-0) won by scores of 97-93, 99-91 and 100-90.

That Golden Boy Promotions card was televised by Showtime.

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Mikey Garcia knocks out Rocky Martinez in the eighth round with body shot

Mikey Garcia of Oxnard has now won world titles in two weight classes, thanks to a wicked left hook to the body that knocked out Rocky Martinez of Puerto Rico in the main event at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The fight was televised by HBO.

Garcia, now 33-0 with 28 knockouts, was decked in the second round. But by the time the eighth arrived, he was in full control of the fight. When he nailed Martinez with the left hook, Martinez went down and stayed slumped over on his knees, never making an attempt to rise as he was counted out.

A terrific shot to the liver typically leaves the victim unable to move the lower half of his body for a short period of time.

Martinez (27-2-2) was attempting to make the second successful defense of his title, which now belongs to Garcia, who also has won a featherweight title.

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HBO’s ‘2 Days: Mikey Garcia’ to debut Oct. 19 after Alvarado-Provodnikov

HBO’s “2 Days: Mikey Garcia,” will premiere Oct. 19 following the interim junior welterweight title fight between Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov.

The documentary will center on 48 hours in the life of Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs), the former featherweight champion from Oxnard who Nov. 9 will move up in weight and challenge Roman Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico for his super featherweight belt from Corpus Christi, Texas (on HBO).

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Mikey Garcia stops Juan Manuel Lopez in the fourth round in Dallas

Mikey Garcia of Oxnard lost his featherweight world title on the scales Friday when he weighed in two pounds over the limit. But his fight with Juan Manuel Lopez still went on and Garcia stopped Lopez in the fourth round Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The end came when Garcia hurt Lopez with a right cross to the head, then decked him with a left hook upstairs. Lopez got up, but the referee stopped it at 1:35.

Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) was unable to win back the title because he was overweight, so it remains vacant. Only Lopez (33-3), of Puerto Rico, could have left the ring with it had he emerged victorious.

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Mikey Garcia loses featherweight title on the scales, but fight with Lopez still a go

Mikey Garcia of Oxnard was all set to defend his featherweight title against Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico on Saturday from American Airlines Center in Dallas. However, he was two pounds over at Friday’s weigh-in and was stripped of his belt.

Garcia, who weighed 128 pounds, could have weighed in again two hours later, but he declined because “he was completely drained,” said Lee Samuels, a spokesman for Top Rank Inc., which promotes Garcia and Lopez.

The fight will go on. If Garcia wins, the title will remain vacant. If Lopez wins, he will leave the ring with the championship belt because he came in under the 126-pound limit.

Garcia is 31-0 with 26 knockouts. Lopez is 33-2 with 30 knockouts. Their fight will be televised by HBO.

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Featherweight champ Mikey Garcia to hold public workout Saturday in Yorba Linda

Featherweight world champion Mikey Garcia of Oxnard will play host to a sparring session today at 11 a.m. at the UFC Gym in Yorba Linda. It will be open to the public.

Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) is preparing to defend his title against former champion Juan Manuel Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs) of Puerto Rico on June 15 at American Airlines Center in Dallas (on HBO).

Joining Garcia at the workout will be his older brother and trainer, former super featherweight champion Robert Garcia. Also on hand will be their father, Eduardo Garcia, who helps Robert train Mikey.

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