Story by Special Correspondent Tarrah Zael — Four-division world champion Mikey Garcia held a media day workout yesterday, July 10, at Fortune Gym in West Hollywood for his upcoming lightweight battle against undefeated IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. The IBF and WBC world title unification bout is scheduled for 12 rounds on July 28 and will be showing live on Showtime from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
After watching him fight all over the world, surprisingly, it’s been since 2011 that Garcia (38-0, 30 KO) has last fought in Los Angeles. So far, the support from fight fans has been calculated with high hopes that this won’t be the last we will see of Garcia fighting at Staples Center.
“I have no doubt Los Angeles is ready for Mikey Garcia. Mikey Garcia is ready for Los Angeles. It’s the first of many fights he will be headlining, I predict, as a regular at Staples Center,” said Richard Schaefer, chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports.
“We’re from Southern California, so why not make this our home? That would be the ideal thing to do,” adds Robert Garcia, Mikey’s brother and trainer.
Notably, his opponent Easter Jr. does have an eight-inch reach advantage over Mikey. However, Garcia explains that it doesn’t matter because he’s been training in the gym and working on making adjustments. “Either I catch him reaching in or put pressure and work my way inside,” he says with confidence in his smile.
“There’s different things I am capable of doing. I’m pretty experienced, already, fighting taller guys in the past so I don’t feel it’s a huge disadvantage,” adds Garcia about the reach advantage Easter Jr. may have over him in the lightweight battle.
As he gets prepared for his upcoming fight, Mikey makes it known that he doesn’t change much in his training except for adding to the intensity and restricting his diet a little more.
“I’m in the best shape physically and mentally that I’ve ever been,” says Mikey Garcia, “I need to take advantage of the moment right now and take on the biggest challenges.”
With all the recent talk about bringing noise back to LA, Errol Spence Jr. was brought up from chatter within the media. In response, Garcia said, “I’m not looking past or over Robert Easter Jr. but if everything goes well, the other fight that excites me would be an Errol Spence Jr. fight.”
This means Mikey would have to go up in weight to meet Spence Jr. at 147.
Undefeated champion Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KO) currently holds the IBF world welterweight title. Spence Jr. fought last month against Carlos Ocampo (22-1, 13-1 KO), winning by way of knockout in round one.
“No one believes me, but when it happens… you guys will be surprised”, says Garcia regarding going into yet another weight division to meet Spence Jr. He plans to dominate there as well. “The challenges that he presents are so great that – that’s what motivates me.”
Moreover, Richard Schaefer suggests, “Mikey is really fortunate that he can move up and down in his weight classes and he can dominate. He’s very opportunistic, where he can add to his tremendous legacy.”
Schaefer confirms that fight fans can expect a diverse undercard at the Mikey Garcia versus Robert Easter Jr. showdown including Cuban heavyweight Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz facing Razvan Cojanu in a 10-round bout. Also, undefeated super lightweight fighter from San Antonio, Texas, Mario “El Azteca” Barrios will be battling it out against Jose Roman in a 10-round scheduled bout.
Not only do we hear and see a confident Mikey Garcia, but talks about him possibly taking on yet another weight class in the future can turn anyone into a boxing fan.
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