Imagine an undefeated 26-year-old fighter, sparring in the heat of Oxnard, California with no set fight date or plans. After the day’s end, he talks with his teammates about all of their upcoming fights, and afterward just heads on home.
As Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs) helped prep tons of his teammates, he just waited and waited for his chance to enter the ring again.
“None of it broke me down, I’m a very mentally strong person, I knew at some point it would all work out,” Garcia said to Round by Round Boxing during an interview on Thursday.
Garcia has an incredible resume with victories over some of the best in the super featherweight division, and looked at his battle with Top Rank as a blessing in disguise.
“Had I stayed active, who knows how exhausted I might be at this point. It’s not hard to say that I could be looking to retire by now if I had a very busy last two years,” said Garcia.
Alongside the promotion of Al Haymon/Premier Boxing Champions and under the watchful eye of brother Robert and father Eduardo, Garcia is more than ready to return to the ring July 30 on the undercard of Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton, against Elio Rojas (24-2, 14 KOs).
“I’ve been training hard for this fight, and now sparring 10 rounds, three times a week. After this fight, God willing everything is okay, I plan to make up for the time I lost,” said Garcia.
Garcia wasted no time with mentioning that he would love to fight three more times by years end. And his focus is on anyone with a title that he wants, including the top dog, undefeated British champion Terry Flanagan.
“I know I’ve got to restore a lot of people’s faith in me, and I plan to do that with this fight and then just pick back up where I left off.”
Photos by Gene Blevins