By Rudy Mondragon
On Saturday, June 15th, 2013 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 30 KOs) took on Mikey Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) for the WBO featherweight title. Due to Garcia failing to make weight yesterday, he was stripped of his title. Going into the fight, Lopez would be the only fighter that would be able to claim the WBO belt.
The fight started off with excitement as both fighters threw punches with a great deal of conviction. Mikey was throwing strong jabs and they were connecting as Lopez did not move his head. Despite not making weight yesterday, Garcia looked fresh and full of energy. Round one went to Mikey based on his accuracy and jab connections.
Round 2 was exciting as Mikey was doing a good job in connecting left hooks to the head of Lopez. He adjusted rather quickly to Lopez’s south paw stance. Mikey caught Lopez with a strong straight right, which put Lopez down. He was still on shaky legs, but was able to finish the round.
Round 3 was a continuation of Mikey keeping the distance and disabling any attacks from his opponent. Garcia effectively retreated by taking steps back and following it up with a stiff jab to maintain distance and collect points. At this point, it was a 3-0 shut out for Mikey Garcia.
Round 4 was once again all Garcia. At this point, Garcia had not landed a single body shot on Lopez. He was strategically and intelligently hunting for Lopez’s head. A strong right shot hurt Lopez and triggered a fight or flight response. Lopez decided to fight, which opened him up to the technical and stronger Garcia. Garcia landed a nasty left hook, putting Lopez down on the canvas with his arms stretched out. He got up, but Rafael Ramos stopped the fight as Lopez was unstable on his feet.
Another dominant performance by Mikey Garcia. Tonight showed us that in order to fight Mikey Garcia, one needs to be smart, technical, strategic, and have a solid chin. Garcia is a boxer that is unique. His composure, calmness, boxing IQ, timing, technique, and power makes Garcia a special athlete.
After the fight, Mikey said that he wants to stay at 126 lbs, but 130 lbs is also an option. He did say that he needs to fix his diet to make weight. This is what hurt him at the scales. It is important that Mikey Garcia gets an expert nutritionist. If he already has one, then that nutritionist needs to go because Garcia failed to make weight. In order for Mikey to have a long, successful and healthy career, it will be critical for him to take care of his diet. If he does that, I can see Mikey having a long career like some of the great elder veterans that are still fighting today.