- By Miguel Maravilla Photos by Esther Lin -
Mikey Garcia Returns
After a 2 year hiatus from boxing former world champion Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs) of Oxnard, California, will be making his return to the ring when he takes on Dominican former world champion Elio Rojas (24-2, 14 KO's) this Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York live on Showtime. We spoke to Garcia as he talked about his 2 year absence and ring return.
“Right now I think I have more hunger. I was bored now I’m back,” Mikey Garcia told Southern California Boxing.com
Having last fought in January of 2014, Garcia won a unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos at New York’s Madison Square Garden. For the 28 year old it was time to start making some business decision since his contract with was up in February of 2014. It was obvious he was not satisfied with his situation with his then promoter Top Rank.
“I have no regrets. I fought what I believe was right. It’s nothing personal just business. I don’t think Bob knew the details on my case and situation. A lot was misinterpreted by both parties, its just business. They wanted me to fight at 130 but I wanted to fight at 135 and the last thing we didn’t agree on was to sign an extension with them. I wanted to re-negotiate they said no. So then I said I was free and they were like no there was already an extension and there response was we are not going to fight you,” Mikey Garcia said.
Garcia then added. “Todd kept claiming he builds product. We are just a product and it’s an assembly line. As a fighter they want to sweet talk you as much as possible.”
“They tried to push me around I didn’t let that happen and they got bothered because I was in my right. I was challenging them,”
Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather once found himself the same situation as he like Garcia began his career with Top Rank and became world champion. It was already rumored in the spring of 2014 that Garcia would be signing with Mayweather. Garcia however was out of boxing for 2 years and was recently sighted spending time with Floyd.
“I accepted the release I got advice from others to move on but we can definitely work in the future,” Garcia said. “I never spoke to Floyd about my situation because of the litigations,” Garcia added
Having been out for 2 years Garcia kept active in the gym and did some researching of his own in learning the business aspect of the sport.
“It’s been the biggest victory for me so far. I learned a lot about the sport in these 2 years, the business part of it,” Garcia said. “I’ve got to enjoy myself more than I had in the last 10 years. When you’re in boxing, it’s a year round sport. You don’t have time to yourself, for your family or friends. You miss out on a lot. I learned a lot in my time away about boxing and more,” Garcia added.
Now the former world champion looks to get back in the ring as he prepared for his return working with his brother former world champion Robert Garcia and his father longtime trainer Eduardo Garcia for his comeback.
“This will end up being about seven-week training camp, but even prior to that I’ve been staying in the gym. I don’t feel any different. I feel one-hundred percent. My body is well-rested which makes me hungrier and more motivated.” Garcia said. “I was never out of the gym but always sparring 10 to 12 rounds to keep me busy. I was never gone. I don’t see why I will have ring rust. We had intense sparring with Marcos Maidana those were tough intense sessions. We also sparred, Hector Tanajara, Jonathan Navarro it’s always great to be in the gym,” Garcia added.
His opponent Rojas, a former world champion like Mike has been inactive as he last fought in August of 2014, winning a unanimous decision over Robert Osiobe. He won the WBC featherweight title be defeating Japan’s Takahiro Ao and lost it in his second defense to Mexican power puncher Jhonny Gonzalez.
“I seen him fight, he was a champion and is an experienced fighter. He lost to Jhonny Gonzalez and he is definitely a good fighter,” Garcia said.
Garcia vs. Rojas will be a scheduled ten round bout and will be the co-main event to the Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton showdown.
“I’m going to see how my body feels after this fight, but that’s the plan as of now. We’re not looking past Elio. I definitely want to get back in the ring soon if everything goes right,” Garcia said. “This fight is at 140 but after this fight move down. I really want to win a title at 135,” Garcia said.
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