MIKEY GARCIA is a good fighter. A brilliant lightweight, certainly able enough to beat Adrien Broner at super-lightweight and surely would have been Vasyl Lomachenko’s greatest threat at 135lbs. But can he really move up to 147lbs and defeat a champion as gifted as IBF welterweight boss Errol Spence? On Saturday (March 16) at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas we’ll find out.
“That’s something that I was willing to challenge myself and prove to everybody that you don’t win fights just with mere size and weight. There is a lot more that goes into it. And so that’s why I chose this fight to overcome that challenge and prove to everybody I’m the best,” Garcia said. “When I took on this fight and I wanted to get this fight, I was not doing it for any reason other than to prove to everybody that I’m the best and that I can fight anybody and I’m not scared to fight anybody even in the welter division.
“And that’s why this fight is so important and that’s why it’s such a big fight. It deserves to be in the stadium, it deserves to be getting all this coverage and all this attention because you hardly ever see two of the best pound-for-pound fighters, in their prime, undefeated champions fighting each other.”
Reflecting on Spence, Garcia said, “He reminds me of myself. He does everything well, he’s very effective, he’s strong, he has very good footwork, good combinations, very similar to the way I fight. Nothing crazy, flashy out there like the flashy speed or hand speed or footwork. Nothing like that. But everything is done very well, very effective and I need someone like that to allow me to perform to the best of my ability.”
He insists he has been bulking up scientifically. “That’s what we worked with Victor Conte. We made a program that could help me to gain a little bit of mass but at the same time, improve my speed, my reaction, my reflexes and all the things that I will use on fight night,” Garcia said. “There was a bid more of a physical change and we needed to make sure that moving up to welterweight would be a good decision by adding weight in the right areas, the right amount of muscle mass.”
He added, “We also worked with natural welterweights that are fast and quick and sleek just so I can be sharp and explosive. So I have all the confidence in all my abilities and I have all the confidence in my boxing and my abilities because I know I did all the work, I know I’m in great shape and I don’t worry about the size.”
But victory would send Garcia rocketing up the pound-for-pound estimations. “There is no other fighter moving up in weight and back down and back up and keeping weight classes, fighting champions, undefeated champion. No other fighter is doing that,” he said. “When you talk about pound-for-pound well I’m actually proving it. I’m doing it in different divisions. So I mean that’s kind of why people will remember me for, that I was willing to fight anybody in any division.
“Whether you put me number one pound-for-pound or not, everybody has an opinion but there is no one else doing what I’m doing.”