Three days out from their bouts, which will unfold in Texas, and on HBO, Mikey Garcia and Rocky Garcia took part in a conference call to hype the promotion, put together by Top Rank.They were joined on the call by Top Rank president Todd duBoef, Martinez' promoter Peter Rivera and Garcia's co-trainer and brother, Robert Garcia.
Garcia (pictured above, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) is looking to make a splash at 130 pounds after having trouble making 126 pounds. Robert Garcia said that Martinez is solid and they expect a “very tough fight.” Mikey said he didn't need a tuneup at 130 and he labeled Martinez “a real champion.”
In his last outing, Garcia lost his 126 pound crown on the scale, but did beat Juan Manuel Lopez (TKO4) in June. The boxer said he was bummed out that he couldn't make the weight, but after the disappointment, he said he wanted to look ahead. He said he wasn't even sure his body would react well after working so hard to carve off weight, but in fact, he was sharp vs. JuanMa. Garcia said the weight cut is going fine, and thinks he could even make 126 this time.
Garcia was asked about the level of support he gets from Mexicans. He said he doesn't need that, but he enjoys that backing. He was then asked how Martinez rates versus the guys he's faced. He called him “tough” and “durable” and knows Martinez won't part with the belt easily. The Puerto Rican's promoter, Rivera, said Martinez is PR's only world champ currently, so he knows how important this fight is to the island. The WBO titlist is coming off a SD12 win over Diego Magdaleno, on April 6.
I asked Robert Garcia what weaknesses he saw in Martinez. Robert said they were training for the best Rocky and he knows most are counting him out and know that makes him doubly dangerous. Martinez was asked about weaknesses and same deal, he said, through a translator, that he respects Mikey's game and expects him to be on the top of his game. In other words, nobody was giving any clues to their game plan and what they might be looking to exploit. Rocky said he thinks he should be the favored, being the bigger, stronger fighter. He also thinks he's the faster fighter.
Rocky said that he wants to fight the best and so is happy that Garcia got a shot at a crown in his first fight at 130. He said that he wasn't at his best in his second to last fight, vs. JC Burgos, because of inactivity, but is not rusty now. He said he wasn't worried by Mikey coming in to his last fight over the weight, that he was worried about himself. Rocky also said he thinks he can handle Mikey's power. He was asked if he thinks Mikey is his toughest foe, and answered that Mikey has more technique and intelligence than many others and sized him up as “one of the best” he has faced.
Rocky was asked about Miguel Cotto, who backed up Orlando Cruz in his last outing, against Orlando Salido. The fighter said he hasn't really heard from Cotto, and that they don't train near each other.
To close, Martinez promised a “war” and Garcia asked everyone to tune in, because the bouts will be terrific.
Readers, weigh in; do you see Mikey as the favorite, though this is his first foray at 130? Is Martinez being dissed and dismissed too easily? Weigh in, in our Forum.