Posts Tagged ‘Mikey Garcia’

zlaticanin_ko

LAS VEGAS — Two fights into his comeback and Mikey Garcia can call himself a champion again. Earlier tonight, Garcia dominated WBC lightweight titlist Dejan Zlaticanin in route to a third round knockout on the undercard of Frampton-Santa Cruz II.

The normally aggressive Zlaticanin was defanged by Garcia’s sharp jab and footwork, which left the champion a sitting duck at long and mid-range. When Zlaticanin tried to lunge inside with his powerful left, Garcia met his shorter foe with counter rights.

It would be a wild left by Zlaticanin that began his undoing. Garcia countered with a right uppercut that sent Zlaticanin careening into the ropes. Dazed, Zlaticanin could not defend himself from a flush right hook.

 

The knockout gives Garcia a title in his third weight class and puts him in the conversation for a possible unification with the winner of the rematch between Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla.

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Mikey Garcia

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

And mama used to say
Take your time, young man
Mama used to say
Don’t you rush to get old – Junior, “Mama Used to Say”

You hear the above a lot when you’re young. Enjoy life. Don’t rush too fast into complicated situations. But as the years past and the age mounts, that luxury does a 180. You better start rushing before your window for success closes. Such is the case with 29-year-old Mikey Garcia, who is perhaps facing his most dangerous opponent in undefeated slugger and WBC lightweight titlist Dejan Zlaticanin. Just one fight removed from a 2.5-year sabbatical due to promoter issues, Garcia doesn’t have time to play political games and pick up easy titles. His window to achieve greatness is now.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Before we get into your big fight on Saturday, I wanted to go back to your first comeback bout last July. How would you evaluate that performance now that you have some time to look back on it?

Garcia: I think it was a very good performance for my return. There was a lot of concern regarding the layoff with 2.5 years off and fighting in a different weight class. I strongly believed none of that would be a factor. Everyone saw I was as good as I was before. My opponent Elio Rojas was tricky — he tried to use his speed and footwork to give me angles and make it difficult for me. But once I set the pace, distance and timing, I took over the fight. I put him down a few times and stopped him so overall I feel good about it.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Was there any nervousness? Even Muhammad Ali mentioned when he came off his layoff he was nervous and felt his stamina suffered a bit from it. 

Garcia: Not really. He was just another fight. Even though I was gone for 2.5 years, it felt like nine months to me. I never left, I was always working in the gym, training and sparring throughout the layoff.

Dejan Zlaticanin

BeatsBoxingMayhem: The reaction to you taking on Dejan Zlaticanin has been interesting. On one hand, fans last year complained that we didn’t get a lot of quality, 50/50 fights due to political and business issues. But some of those same fans have said you’re taking this fight too soon against an undefeated, aggressive fighter…

Garcia: Y’know what, we can’t please everybody. I’m here to do what I believe is right for my career. I want to pick up right where I left off before my layoff. I was forced to vacate the title at 130 pounds because of the layoff. I would’ve been moving up to 135 shortly after, so that’s why we’re fighting for the WBC title. We’re not trying to cherry-pick opponents to get a vacate title by finding the “right opportunity” with the “right guy.” We’re after the strong, heavy hitters like Dejan Zlaticanin.

Maybe it’s too soon, maybe I should wait? That’s exactly what I’m trying to disprove. I’ve been here and I’m ready to take over.

We’re not trying to cherry-pick opponents to get a vacate title by finding the “right opportunity” with the “right guy.” We’re after the strong, heavy hitters like Dejan Zlaticanin.

 

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Is Zlaticanin’s style completely new or do you have some experience with powerful, pressure southpaws like him?

Garcia: I’ve fought southpaws but this will be the one southpaw I’m facing that has a relentless pressure style. He seems to never take a step back. He’s very dangerous because he has power in both hands, especially that left. But that’s why I have the right sparring partners and my dad and brother are preparing me well.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Zlaticanin comes off low-key but I noticed he’s really good at back-handed compliments. He said you’re better than Terry Flanagan, a guy I know you’re targeting, but Zlaticanin also said he felt you’re easy to hit. Did you get any impressions from the press conferences that he might be underestimating you?

Garcia: I’m not sure. I don’t keep up with anything he has to say and only met him at the press conference. But I’d prefer it if he’s that confident and comes to fight. That’s only going to help and push me to show my greatness. I don’t want him coming in unmotivated and going down by taking a knee. No, I want him to push me to the best of my abilities.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: You have a very good right hand that should be primary weapon in this fight. Where do you feel your right has been most effective: outside, mid-range or up–close?

Garcia: Y’know what, I actually like to wait and figure out my opponent before deciding the range. I’ve never seen a full fight of Zlaticanin’s; maybe a round or two. I leave my dad and my brother to come up with the game plan and study my opponent.

From what I’ve seen, he’s very good at applying pressure and fighting on the inside. He’s very powerful but I’m not sure how well he can switch up his style to box and move off the backfoot. But, he is a world champion so I have to assume he has other tricks he can pull out.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: With the winner of the rematch between Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares being a target, who do you see coming out on top?

Garcia: I think Linares has more of the advantage since he’s been here before. He’s a world champion in three divisions and has a win over Crolla. I’m leaning towards him just due to the experience and his heart.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Any closing thoughts?

Garcia: I promised everyone I’d be back. You’ll remember me from what I accomplish going forward over what I did before the layoff.

Garcia vs. Zlaticanin airs live on Showtime Saturday, January 28 at 9 p.m. ET

 

 

Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

LAS VEGAS — WBA featherweight champion Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz had no issues making weight this afternoon for their much-anticipated rematch Saturday night at the MGM Grand.

Both fighters weighed in below the featherweight limit at 125.

PREDICTION: At the lower weights, Santa Cruz was able to wear guys down and eventually overwhelm them with his size, punch output and pressure. But at 126, the size advantage isn’t as pronounced, allowing a skilled pugilist like Frampton to keep Santa Cruz at bay with sharp counters. Santa Cruz doesn’t have the technique to outbox Frampton nor can he bulldoze him without getting rocked (like early in the first bout).

In other words, there isn’t much room for improvement I can see from Santa Cruz. Unless Frampton has regressed (not likely), I expect him to get another clear decision.

Dejan Zlaticanin and Mikey Garcia

GARCIA: 134.5

ZLATICANIN: 134.5

PREDICTION: A lot of people are worried for Garcia and with good reason. Zlaticanin is a southpaw pressure fighter that excels in punishing inside work. His right hand has serious pop but it’s usually the looping left hook that puts guys down. In an interview I’ll be posting tomorrow, Garcia explained he’s worked extensively on his right-hand counters. Short, compact punches (particularly the uppercut), will do the most damage. However, it remains to be seen how effective Garcia’s power will be against a full-fledged lightweight. After getting rocked and put in some trouble early on, I see Garcia adjusting to Zlaticanin’s rhythm and outboxing him to a tough unanimous decision.

 

David Benavidez and Sherali Mamajonov

BENAVIDEZ: 166

MAMADJANOV: 167

Opening the card is the undefeated David Benavidez taking on Sherali Mamadjanov in a super middleweight bout.

David Benavidez and Sherali Mamajonov

 

 

Mikey Garcia - arms folded profile pic

On Saturday (July 30), two division champion Mikey Garcia ends a two-year hiatus against Elio Rojas. Forced into “business exile” over a contract dispute with former promoter Top Rank, Garcia returns to a boxing landscape markedly different from the one he left in 2014. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are in retirement (for now). Golovkin vs. Canelo is the sport’s new “delayed super fight.” Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and Roman Gonzalez are universally recognized as top Pound 4 Pound fighters. The biggest change for Garcia is also the most humbling — he now has to prove himself all over again.

In this exclusive interview, Mike Garcia speaks on why the best is yet to come, and how becoming a smart businessman will enhance his remaining in-ring career.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: 140 is a new weight for you and brings a whole host of potential opponents like division champion Terence Crawford. Any chance you’ll stay at this weight depending on how you feel Saturday night?

Mikey Garcia: Around December and New Years I did gain some weight. That’s why we wanted to slowly bring the weight down. I’m very comfortable with my walk-around weight so I know there won’t be any problems making 140. But the goal is to get to 135 for a title fight after this return. That’s why we picked this fight so I can slowly get down.

I’ve had the WBO title at featherweight and super featherweight so I really want that third title in a third division. I don’t want to skip lightweight but I will eventually move up to 140. Crawford is the king of the division and that is who I’ll want. Maybe I’ll pick up a title before that fight to create even more pressure to see a unified winner. I’ll fight anyone that’s available that has a title.

I don’t want to waste time fighting nobodies. I don’t have time to be picking easy fights. The second half of my career will determine how I’m remembered.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Since your target is lightweight, which champion are you focused on?

Garcia: I’ve kept a small eye out there. The name that sticks out more than the others is Terry Flanagan, who’s champion for the WBO and was at super featherweight. I want to gain another WBO title pretty soon.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: You know more than anyone that the “business of boxing” is just as important as what you do in the ring. With Top Rank, it seemed the business dispute got personal on both ends. You’re on record as stating you’d work with Top Rank again under the right circumstances. How did you not stay antagonistic towards Top Rank after being forced to sit out for two years?

Garcia: Well, it really is just business. I can’t see it any other way. I was a key business asset to Top Rank and a fighter they obviously did not want to lose. They attempted to starve me out and see if I’d accept whatever they offered. Clearly I was ready to fight until the very end and they finally gave up.

If they really believed I was still under contract they should have waited and gone through with the final ruling from the judge on the lawsuit. But they realized they were in trouble and didn’t want the final ruling to be public and have the judge rule in my favor. They negotiated a release that I accepted. We all walked our separate ways with no one having to pay anything.

With business, who knows the future. We might work together down the line to make a fight. This isn’t first time a fighter has had to go through this and won’t be the last time.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: I can’t think of any other fighter that was able to get out of a contract dispute with Top Rank. Have you had other fighters in similar circumstances approach you for advice?

Garcia: Not quite but I’m always reminding fighters that there’s nothing wrong with fighting back. Don’t let them take advantage of you and make sure to have the right people around you. You need real attorneys that can back you up and fight to make sure the promoters are doing their job.

While I was in litigation, I was never offered a fight from Top Rank. If they really felt the contract extension was valid, they should have been doing their job and offering fights to me. We’re the ones getting in the ring and putting our lives on the line. Not the managers. Not the promoters. And not even the fans.

At the end of the day, the business has to be worth it.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: You’re fighting on Showtime/PBC card but as a free agent. What do you need to see from a promoter to sign another long-term deal?

Garcia: It’s got to be a fair deal. I know the promoter has to make money putting together and running the show. Yes, I get that they have expenses. But on a long-term deal everything has been to shown. No hidden agendas — everything up front. I need to know exactly where the revenue comes from and what is being spent.

When a promoter doesn’t want to show you want you’re gonna make, promises a certain purse and then comes back with less, or even lying about what your opponent makes and pocketing the extra money, it’s a problem. They don’t even want to tell you how much money is being brought by the sponsors, international licensing fees, or how much is available from the gate. These categories will be blank or marked as zero on the contract disclosures. Those are red flags and I will not accept anything blindly.

How can we have a working business relationship when the fighter doesn’t know the money available? The promoter knows — they’ve been doing it for years. They should be able to give you a close estimate on what money will be coming in.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Floyd Mayweather is the best example we have of a fighter that mastered the business side of the sport. However, it came with a detriment to his in-ring legacy. We’ve spoken a lot about the business side being right for the rest of your career. Does that take precedent over your in-ring legacy?

Garcia: I think I can be successful in both ways. I want to leave a good legacy by fighting all the champions. I want to be right there with the best. What I learned through litigation and discovery can be balanced to make a great career. The money will be there by going for the big fights.

Mikey Garcia vs. Elio Rojas will be on the undercard of Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton, airing July 30 on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET.

 

Mikey_Garcia

Photo Credit: Chris Farina/Top Rank

After two years of fighting in the courtroom instead of the ring, Mikey Garcia is finally a free agent.

The former featherweight and super featherweight champion was granted his release today from Top Rank, confirmed company president Bob Arum on The Morning Punch-In Show with RB & Jae.

“We’ve given Mikey his release. So he’s free to do whatever he wants,” said Arum.

Garcia first launched his suit in April 2014, claiming violations of the Muhammad Ali Act as Top Rank allegedly “failed to make required disclosures to Garcia concerning, among other things, the amount of money it would make from each of Garcia’s bouts, therefore entitling Garcia to additional damages.” Garcia has opted to not fight since scoring a unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos in January 2014.

According to Arum, unrealistic purse demands from Garcia’s camp was the main reason for his inactivity. A proposed fight with Terence Crawford quickly fell apart, allegedly due to excessive purse demands from Garcia.

“Other promoters/managers made runs at him and that screwed him up,” said Arum. “And yeah, we didn’t offer him a Crawford fight because he wanted more money than Crawford. Crawford was the champion and that means something.”

The 29 year old Garcia is 34-0 (28 KOs) and last competed in the super featherweight division. At press time, he could not be reached for comment.

 

Mayweather_Maidana

For episode two of All Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana 2, we see the fighers’ different approaches to roadwork and some insight into Robert Garcia’s family background. In sparring, Maidana gets work with Mikey Garcia while the Mayweather Boxing Club showcases their “Doghouse” culture with a loudmouth newcomer raising the ire of Hasim Rahman’s family. We also get details on Maidana’s plan to enhance his conditioning to throw over 100 punches every round. The ending features J’Leon Love’s upset KO loss on ShoBox last weekend.

Episode three premieres Wednesday September 10.

wpid-garcia_mikey_vsguzman.jpg

WBO super-featherweight titlist Mikey Garcia has filed lawsuit seeking to annul his current contract with Top Rank, citing violation of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.

Per court documents obtained by Jeandra LeBeauf of BadCulture.net, Garcia claims that a “promotional rights agreement” he signed with Top Rank “improperly provides Top Rank the ability to extend the agreement indefinitely.” Garcia alleges the agreement is also a violation of California law and seeks to the freedom to schedule further fights “without interference” from Top Rank.

Starting in January 2013, Garcia has been featured heavily in HBO main events. He has made four successful title defenses over Orlando Salido, Juan Manuel Lopez, Roman Martinez and Juan Carlos Burgos.

At press time, Garcia nor Top Rank have made any official statements on the matter.

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Somewhere, Al Haymon is smiling. First, I have to give a lot of respect to my colleague Jeandra LeBeauf for her excellent work breaking this story. On the surface, it looks like Top Rank has done a marvelous job in getting Garcia premium TV dates. He’s yet to face a really big name but has already notched purses of $750,000 and higher. In addition, he’s even been mentioned as a potential opponent for Manny Pacquiao. It’s unclear if this lawsuit is a response to the Gamboa fight falling apart, or Garcia being discontent for some time with his contract.

Like Stevenson before him, Garcia is likely being wooed by fight manager extraordinaire Al Haymon, and it must be quite lucrative to make Mikey want to leave. On the flip side, this could all be for naught, as Andre Ward and Nonito Donaire have failed with similar attempts to break their contractual arrangements. Don’t be surprised if this issue keeps Garcia on the shelf for most of this year.