Philippines, 07 Dec 2022
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One on One Interview with Mikey Garcia

New York City - Tonight?s fight card at the Madison Square Garden Theatre is stacked with many young talents and prospects who will be names to be reckoned with in the near future. Top Rank starts 2013 with an anticipated Featherweight Championship fight in he main event between WBO Featherweight Champion Orlando Salido (39W-11L-2D, 27KO) vs. challenger Mikey Garcia (30W-0L-0D, 26KO).

This is a career fight for Mikey Garcia who is unbeaten and dominated many of his previous opponents. The reigning champion Orlando Salido will have his hands full against the younger surging challenger who is 7 years younger. Salido has demonstrated in the championship rounds against Juan Manuel Lopez that he has the endurance and intensity to win when the fight is in deep waters.

Although Salido has been beaten by Yuriorkis Gamboa and Christobal Cruz in the previous years, Salido has turned his career around with a 5 fight win streak including 2 victories against Juan Manuel Lopez who dominated the Featherweight division for several years. Experience plays a big factor in this fight especially when Salido turns up the intensity against Garcia. Will the challenger endure and survive Salido?s onslaught?

Who will win? You would have to know both boxers strength and weaknesses to really call this fight.

This writer had the opportunity to meet and interview the challenger Mikey Garcia this morning, he is mentally and physically prepared for tonight?s featherweight clash.

Rob Cruz: Mikey, it?s the day of the fight, how are you doing this morning how do you feel and what?s on your mind.

Miguel Garcia: I feel good, I just had breakfast and got to talk to my brother and dad about the event tonight so that everything is in order and we don?t trip on anything.

RC: This is the biggest fight of your career, what does it mean to you?

MG: It?s definitely the biggest, it?s every fighter?s dream to fight for a title. My opportunity is here, I have the opportunity tonight to show what I am as a fighter. I?m very excited and very happy to have this opportunity to show the world that I am world championship material.

RC: How long was your training camp, who did you spar with and how many rounds?

MG: We had I think 10 to 11 weeks of training for this fight, we did many rounds of sparring, my father kept track of how many. We fought in November 10th, started training after the week after that, so that would be 10 or 11 weeks. We had a few sparring partners such as Brandon Rios, Jesus Hernandez, my nephew Javier Garcia was also sparring with me, we had another guy come to the gym to spar with me. So we had quite a bit of sparring partners. My dad has the count of all the sparring rounds we did maybe about 160 rounds, we did a lot of rounds and did the best that we could.

RC: Tell me what you know about your opponent and what you think of him when he turned it up in the last rounds to win the belt from Juan Manuel Lopez.

MG: He?s definitely a tough fighter, always dangerous, he?s got the heart, determination and the will to win. We studied him a lot, we've seen a lot of tapes of him, we know he?s a tough guy. I just think I have better skills, better boxing skills to beat him.

RC: This will be your third 12 rounder, did you do any additional training for the championship rounds where Orlando Salido can be most dangerous?

MG: We definitely picked the intensity in the gym this time around compared to the other fights. We want to make sure we don?t get tired in the later rounds. We want to perform just as strong in the later rounds as we did in the first round, we focused a lot with endurance.

RC: What has been your most difficult fight so far?

MG: I?ve had fights where they were suppose to be test, difficult and I haven?t seen it yet. I?ve been able to control fights at my pace and pretty comfortably. This will be the biggest fight for me, other than that I?ve been able to take care of business fairly comfortable.

RC: What is your advice to young boxers just getting into this sport, what to expect, what is the lifestyle like, the hardships of being a boxer and how you persevere.

MG: If you?re young you have to put your mind on something in order to achieve, work at it and focus on the goal. This is the moment we been trying to reach, it?s the moment and it?s here for me. Young fighters in any sport especially boxing which I know most, you have to stay focused on the target, stay focused on the goal, stay disciplined and work very hard on it. Never think that you know too much, there?s always something more to learn.

RC: Win lose or draw, whatever the results is tonight, what do you want to say to your fans?

MG: Thanks for all the support and their patience for being behind me all the way. I think my fans and the fans of the sport will have a very good time enjoying the fight. Big hugs and thank you to everybody.

Photo: The author (L) poses with Team Garcia (L-R), Mikey, Mikey's brother Robert and father Eduardo.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rob Cruz.

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