Last time we spoke to Mikey Garcia he was in preparation for his return to the ring after a 16 month hiatus due to legal issues over his contract. Garcia explained how he still continued to train and spar, even though he wasn’t able to fight.
He called out all the Lightweights with a title, especially WBO Lightweight champion, Terry Flanagan. Garcia, a former WBO Featherweight champion was eager to face Elio Rojas in July of 2016. He promised that fans would see the same Garcia that they remembered, and he delivered with a fifth-round TKO victory.
“I really wanted another fight to finish 2016, but there was just nothing in the works,” said Garcia in a recent interview with Round By Round Boxing.
“Now at least it’s January and that sets me up to fight three or four times this year,” said Garcia.
Training in Riverside, CA, Garcia keeps his family close by so he can keep some piece of mind. One of his sparring partners for this camp was undefeated Featherweight and Top Rank prospect, Erick DeLeon (14-0, 8 KOs).
“It’s not always fun being in a tough training camp over the holidays, I didn’t get to enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas or even my birthday,” said Garcia. “But it will all be worth it in the end, this fight is exactly what I want.”
For this next bout Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs) faces the WBC Lightweight champion, Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs). The very tough Zlaticanin is said to be a dangerous fight for Garcia, and perhaps may be too soon, but this is the exact game plan Garcia said last year, and reiterates again now.
“Had I not taken all that time off away from the ring, I’d might be thinking of retiring right now. If my career didn’t pause the way it did, these are the types of guys I’d be fighting anyway. Right now I’m just picking up where I left off. I want all the belts and I’m ready to prove anybody wrong who thinks I’m not supposed to be here.”
Garcia vs. Zlaticanin is set to take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on January 28 as the co-main event for the Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz rematch.
Header photo by Esther Lin/Showtime