Last week was unofficially Freddie Roach week on TSS. Dedham Freddie was the first to tell us just how close we are to seeing The Fight that we’ve been craving since 2009, Pacquiao-Mayweather, and he gave us updates on the status of the Cotto-Canelo proposed tussle, and much more.
Being a Libra, and after getting lol barked at by Top Rank’s Carl Moretti for over-featuring the chatty Roach, I found myself looking for some balance. So I checked in with Robert Garcia, himself a Trainer of the Year winner.
I focused first on family, seeing if there was any update on Robert’s brother Mikey, a bright light in the sport in 2012 into 2013, but someone whose relevance ebbed last year because he got into a contractual issue with Top Rank.
I’ve been hearing rumblings Mikey is looking to saddle up again. So, will he jet from Top Rank, hook on that Haymon train, maybe head to Roc Nation if contract or lack thereof allows? What’s the word, Robert?
“I’ve seen the Mikey to Roc talk too,” the trainer told me. “There’s been a lot of noise.”
Garcia said he was a bit surprised that top dog Andre Ward signed with the newbie Roc, Jay Z’s outfit which ran their first show Friday night in NYC, and made mad noise with the caliber of celebs taking the show in. Page Six liked seeing Rihanna, Jay Z, Jake Gyllenhaal and the like watching the sweet science unfolding before their eyes…
“But it looks like it will happen, Mikey will fight soon. He’s ready, he’s in shape, and it might be sooner than people expect,” RG continued. Robert said he knows Mikey has been approached by Roc and then his bro told him that was so, too. “They have the money, that’s for sure,” Robert said. But Robert knows of multiple discussions Mikey has had of late with Top Rank, and exec Todd duBoef, and said, as of a couple days ago, he hadn’t sat down with anybody else. “I think Mikey fights in February or March. No later than March.”
So we have that to look forward to, a breath of fresher air than we had to breath in 2014, the year of the suck in many ways for our fair and foul sport we so adore and loathe at times…Ward is off the shelf, soon Mikey, Junior has been training more…Good stuff…
Garcia told me he’s aiming to have a kick arse 2015 himself, and is aiming to snag another Trainer of the Year award from the BWAA. “Watch! It will be one of our best years! Mikey coming back, and Brandon Rios, I think he beats Mike Alvarado, and gets back in the mix for the big, big fights.”
Garcia would like to see Marcos Maidana be a busier body, fight three or four times a year, but he digs his family time and is more selective in taking bouts. He’ll likely glove up once or twice, he said. You can imagine he’s in the mix and will have negotiation leverage for, maybe, a rematch with Adrien Broner in the latter half of 2015, perhaps…
Garcia corners other bright lights, like Evgeny Gradovich, oming off a draw I thought he won, against Jayson Velez in November. He retained his IBF feather crown, and will be a diamond chip in the Garcia arrangement in 2015. He also is expecting 4-0 light heavy Ukrainian Alexander Gvozdyk to elevate himself in 2015, same going for 9-0 Egidijus Kaviliauskas, a Lithuanian junior welter, or “EK” as I refer to him in my head when I’m bungling pronunciation. Don’t look past 15-0 Cali boxer Saul Rodriguez, a super featherweight who gloves up Jan. 17 against 9-1 Carlos Rodriguez next.
Mark this down now. Garcia said he’s aiming to repeat his 2012 feat, when he was awarded trainer of the year. So far, 2015 is proving to be shaping up an uptick year in the sport, with chips falling in a manner which suggests we may well see more of those “best fighting the best” fights Oscar De La Hoya always talks about…let’s see if that continues, and fate shines especially brightly on Garcia.
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