Mikey Garcia: Good things to Come

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By Rudy Mondragón

Big news and events take place everyday. January 19, 2013 was no exception. Gennady Golovkin (25-0) won his fight and revealed to the world that he is a beatable fighter. Rocky Martinez (26-1-2) retained his WBO Super Featherweight title with a draw against Juan C Burgos (30-1-1). Most will agree that Burgos did his job in the ring and should have walked away with that belt. However, unacceptable judging determined that it was not Burgos, but Martinez who would remain champion. January 19 was also the day that Kelly Pavlik, who at age 30, announced his retirement from the sport of boxing.

The biggest news in the context of boxing and its future was the beautiful performance that Mikey Garcia (31-0) put on tonight against Orlando Salido (39-12-2). Garcia came out with big shots in the first round that helped him knock Salido down twice. He was also able to put Salido down again in the 3rd and 4th round of the fight. It was complete domination from Garcia who utilized his longer reach, counter punching ability, effective jab, and most importantly his composure to control and dictate the fight. As a boxing fan, it was just fun to watch a young prospect rise up in his first real challenge. Not only did Garcia deliver in the ring, but he also let the boxing world know that he is the real deal. The fight ended after the 8th round due to an accidental headbutt that broke Mikey Garcia’s nose. Scorecards were in Garcia’s favor, but it would have been nice to see the young man go the distance or KO his opponent.

Mikey made a statement tonight. Steve Kim (Twitter @stevemaxboxing) tweeted after the fight that Mikey Garcia “is a lot like Juan Manuel Marquez in his timing, counter-punching and precision.” I most definitely agree and would add that this young fighter also has the power and composure to be a big threat in the 126, 130 and 135 lbs weight classes. Mikey Garcia has what it takes to be relevant and stay relevant in the boxing game for a long time.

Garcia is in a good situation. The boxing world is talking about him, he has great people around him (trainer and brother Robert Garcia), boxing skills, patients, composure, and an incredibly high boxing IQ. As long as Mikey continues to work and improve his craft, stay healthy (mind, body and spirit), and stay humble, boxing fans can only expect good things to come.

Garcia vs. Salido: A Show that People will talk about for Ages

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By Rudy Mondragón

Dope fight, great way to start the 2013 boxing year! Orlando Salido (39-11-2) versus Mikey Garcia (30-0) is going down this weekend, live from the Garden in NYC. Boxing is in need of a good start to the year and I believe Salido and Garcia will give the people what they want. Since his last defeat to Yuriokis Gamboa in the fall of 2010, Orlando Salido has had 5 fights. All 5 fights since then have been won via KOs (4 TKOs and 1 KO). Most notably are his two wins against Juan Manual Lopez, both of which took place in Puerto Rico. He is a strong puncher, resilient and will fight you till the end. The kind of fighter that Mexican boxing fans fall in love with. He is a fan favorite in that regard.

Mikey Garcia comes from the Robert Garcia camp. Not only is Robert his trainer, but he is also his older brother. Close relationships facilitate the boxer/trainer relationship (at least that is how it appears in this case). Garcia is a young, hungry, well trained fighter who is ready to make a statement. He is fun to watch because he can mix it up and adapt. He also has the ability to smell blood and capitalize on his prey. 26 of his 30 wins have come by way of KO. A win here can elevate his career. The boxing world will definitely start talking about him as a top featherweight.

Salido’s experience is worth discussing. He mixed it up with Juan Manuel Marquez and lost a 12 round decision in 2004. He also defeated Robert the Ghost Guerrero, but was later ruled a no contest due to a positive drug test. Add two wins against Juan Manuel Lopez and you have a fighter who has learned from past fights and is carrying serious momentum and energy into the ring. Garcia has trainer of the year in his corner and the heart of a young lion ready to take the WBO Featherweight title from his opponent.

One can make a prediction based on multiple factors. In the case of these two, fight fans can surely count on one thing: This will be a war between two fighters who understand their fans. No need to trash talk each other, just this:  “I just told him that we should go out there and put on a good show — a show that people will talk about for ages,” Garcia said of his brief words with his opponent. “He agreed” (Via ESPN)