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Mikey Garcia: Danger Is His Business

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  • Mikey Garcia: Danger Is His Business

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    BY DAVID A. AVILA

    One of the best kept secrets in prizefighting for many years was Mikey Garcia especially after he went on a self-instituted sabbatical.

    But if you lived in Riverside, you saw firsthand that Garcia was busy at work refining his skills against many of the best in the gym.

    He never took days off.

    After winning world titles in three weight divisions Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) is chasing history now and to complete the quest for a fourth. The path leads through IBF super lightweight titlist Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs). Both parties met face to face at the Conga Room in L.A. on Monday.

    “To win a world title in a fourth division is a big deal to me,” Garcia, 30, said.

    Despite taking two years off while waiting for a contract to lapse, Garcia could be seen almost every day sparring and training at his brother’s hillside gym. If not training he was tutoring brother Robert Garcia’s new recruits like Hector Tanajara, Joshua Franco or Jonathan Navarro.

    Occasionally fighters from out of town would venture into the gym. Whether big or small they would lace up the gloves and trade blows with Mikey Garcia. It’s always a shock to see the often smaller Garcia maneuver and make bigger and heavier opponents do what he wants them to do.

    He’s a like a chess master in the ring.

    Once, years ago, when he was a featherweight, I saw him provide sparring for a super welterweight who was about to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The two sparred casual rounds and when an increase in pressure and tempo took place, the super welterweight looked befuddled.

    Garcia can seemingly do that to anyone regardless of size or athleticism.

    Another time a fleet-footed boxer type was showing off quick combinations and fancy footwork. He gave a glance of self-satisfaction that he was out-boxing Garcia and smiled broadly.

    Garcia looked business as usual during the break, but when the buzzer sounded a different fighter emerged and suddenly the speedster found every exit blocked and was cornered and unable to escape. Blows rained down on the sparring partner who suddenly discovered his flaws were nakedly revealed.

    It’s that innate ability to find flaws in even the best that Garcia possesses. If he were a police homicide detective he would solve almost any crime. Danger is his business.

    “I want to take on any challenges that people think I can't achieve,” says Garcia.

    Lipinets has the same mindset.

    The prizefighter from Kazakhstan only has 13 pro fights but an extensive career as a kickboxer. Now as a world champion boxer Lipinets feels confident that Garcia is out of his depth as a super lightweight.

    “A lot of things can happen when you move up in weight. Usually people lose some pop,” said Lipinets of Garcia moving up in weight. “Whatever version of Mikey Garcia shows up; I'll be ready for him.”

    Every time a fighter moves up in weight the increase in danger dials upward. Others who accepted that danger in the past benefited. That’s what Garcia hopes to attain.

    “It would be a great accomplishment to be in the discussion with guys like Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, that would be a win in itself,” said Garcia. “But it wasn't on my mind when taking this fight. I just want to keep fighting the best out there. There's still more for me to accomplish until I'm on the same level as Pacquiao and Marquez.”

    The Riverside-based prizefighter realizes the danger in pursuing this quest. But he also realizes the danger sparks interest from the fans.

    Like we said before, danger is his business.

    “The challenge for me is that I'll be fighting the bigger man. On fight night, that advantage he has on me might be enough to make it that much more exciting,” said Garcia. “This should give the fans the excitement that we want to give them.”

    On Feb. 10, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, Garcia will either crash and burn or continue the trek toward superstardom. Showtime will televise the title fight.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.



  • #2
    Garcia is very good. B+ fighter so far.

    I think he has been close to 139 for the past couple years. I know he fought and beat up lil Rojas who was coming up himself.

    Beating up washed up Broner is good for everyone. Even Broner since was paid well.

    Lipnets is no slouch but he wont have a size advantage or experience advantage, and I think Kondo did better than expected against Lipnets.
    I think Lipnets is making good money for this fight and might make it interesting for 2 rounds but I don't see him as being that risky at all.

    I watched Garcia vs Salido but I was interested in that card for GGG v Rosado and Irish Seanie not for Garcia.

    I expected an exciting fight from Garcia when he fought Burgos but I left early because it was a snoozer. Most fans were there for the heavyweight Polish fighter and Irish Seanie.
    Give Arum credit, he knows a strong local undercard sells tickets.

    Garcia needs a marquee opponent to break through. Loma would be great. Linares would be great. It's time for him to step up and take the big risk. Lipnets is not that risk but Garcia can grab another belt at least and stay in the mix. Garcia needs to go for it soon or else he will never be that cross over breakout star.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DEEPWATER3 View Post
      Garcia is very good. B+ fighter so far.

      I think he has been close to 139 for the past couple years. I know he fought and beat up lil Rojas who was coming up himself.

      Beating up washed up Broner is good for everyone. Even Broner since was paid well.

      Lipnets is no slouch but he wont have a size advantage or experience advantage, and I think Kondo did better than expected against Lipnets.
      I think Lipnets is making good money for this fight and might make it interesting for 2 rounds but I don't see him as being that risky at all.

      I watched Garcia vs Salido but I was interested in that card for GGG v Rosado and Irish Seanie not for Garcia.

      I expected an exciting fight from Garcia when he fought Burgos but I left early because it was a snoozer. Most fans were there for the heavyweight Polish fighter and Irish Seanie.
      Give Arum credit, he knows a strong local undercard sells tickets.

      Garcia needs a marquee opponent to break through. Loma would be great. Linares would be great. It's time for him to step up and take the big risk. Lipnets is not that risk but Garcia can grab another belt at least and stay in the mix. Garcia needs to go for it soon or else he will never be that cross over breakout star.
      Totally agree that Garcia needs a marquee opponent. Broner does not qualify.

      Lipinets is a solid guy but flawed as we saw in his last fight. He is easy to hit and his come forward style will play right into Garcia's counterpunching style.

      This fight could resemble the Burgos fight.

      I think Top Rank badly wants to make Lomachenko-Garcia as a PPV later this year. They will make Garcia a big offer. The question is whether Garcia wants to go down that road or another one. He called out Cotto and then backed away despite a lucrative offer. Will the same happen if offered good money for Lomachenko?

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      • #4
        Depending on the weight--maybe a catch weight--Loma schools Mikey. He is simply too fast and though Mikey has great fundamental skills, Loma can double down on Mikey's skills. Too fast, too skilled, better corner, both have good chins, but remember, Loma is arguably the greatest amature of all time.

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        • #5
          Of course I am a degenerate Loma fan.

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