Earlier this week, I had a chance to speak with the WBC World Lightweight Champion, Mikey Garcia, as he is in the middle of training camp, preparing for his July 29th bout in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center against Adrien “The Problem” Broner. Garcia says his camp is going great. He’s only 7 pounds over for the bout scheduled to be at 140. He’s having no issues, and will not have to cut weight. Garcia says just normal eating and watching the food he eats should get him there naturally.
This fight came about quickly, so I asked Garcia how did this bout get presented to him. “A few months ago, I spoke with Showtime and they proposed a bout with Adrien later, at the end of the year. They wanted to have both of us on separate cards this summer, leading us to a match between the two of us”, says Garcia. However, when neither could lock down a nice opponent for the summer, Showtime asked if they would fight each other now. Both fighters agreed, but Garcia was sure to make it clear he didn’t want to do anything over 140, max.
Adrien Broner has had issues with the scale in the past. He has agreed to fight at 140 in the past and moved the weight up a couple pounds a week or two before the fight, like against Shawn Porter. I asked if Garcia would also consider moving up a couple pounds if asked, and what would be his response if Broner came in overweight anyway.
Garcia stated, “He (Broner) said he was ready to come down to 140 pounds and that in the past he hasn’t needed to do 140. He could make it easier for himself by raising the limit north of 140 and still get paid the same, so it didn’t matter to him, but this time he says 140. Now if he doesn’t come in at 140, there will be some penalties that can be executed if we decide to continue and go on with the fight. But that just depends on how much he may be. If he’s 2 pounds overweight I may just not take the fight at all. It just depends on how he is and what I see that week of the fight.”
Broner has what some would call a “unique” personality. Some call him erratic, brash, or cocky. However, during this promotion, he and Mikey Garcia have seemed to get along. I asked him about what he feels about Broner, personally.
Garcia stated, “This is my 1st time actually meeting him and spending any time with him. I’ve seen him before in passing at different fights, but never actually spent time with him. I was surprised he was actually being cool and little more friendly than I expected. He doesn’t seem to be a bad guy, it’s a character. Sometimes his personality might be aggressive towards some opponents, but he seems to be pretty chill towards me. But we’re definitely not friends and we’re not going to be friends on July 29th either.”
Some of the things that Garcia said he has to be aware of with Broner is his speed, power, and ability to counterpunch. One of the things about Broner is he’s been knocked down, but never stopped. Garcia has stopped 30 of his 36 opponents. So, I asked if he feels he can be the 1st to stop Broner. “I’m not going out there to stop him, but if the opportunity comes about and I see it, yea, I’ll try to stop him. But that’s not what we’re going there to do, we’re going there to win the fight and go all 12 rounds if we have to”, responded Garcia.
In leading from that, I brought up Garcia only fight 8 rounds in the last 3 and half years and if he’s confident in a 12 round fight since he’s only gone 12 once in his career. Garcia said, “I’ve had 36 fights. I have the experience. I’ve been 12 rounds once, but we have training camps for 12 round fights. So, I know what I got to do. I wouldn’t have taken the fight if I didn’t think I was ready. This is the perfect fight for me right now.”
A year ago, before Garcia came back, he mentioned two names as a future opponent, Broner and Danny Garcia. Since he is now fighting Broner, I asked if a fight with Danny Garcia could be on the horizon. Garcia says, “If everything goes well on July 29th, and we decided to look into Danny Garcia at 147, I’d have to really consider that cause that’s another weight class. It just depends on what my options are at 135 and 140 cause that’s where I feel I go best.”
Mikey Garcia is very happy with where his career is right now and in terms of getting back to a top tier pound for pound guy like he was before the layoff, Garcia stated that he feels he is “right where he needs to be.” Garcia also said he wants to keep his lightweight belt and really only took this fight at 140 because of Broner. Some of the guys that Garcia mentioned fighting after this include: Jorge Linares, Terry Flanagan, possibly Robert Easter Jr. down the line.
Garcia spoke about his promotional situation, saying “I’ve been able to do fight by fight deals. Richard (Schaefer of Ringstar Sports) was very interested and we wanted to see if we can get something together for this fight, where he would help with the co-promotion. But because of other decisions that we had to take and where the location of the fight is at, we decided to go work directly with Lou DiBella. If there is a promoter that can offer me a fight that really interests me, then maybe I can do a short 2-3 fight deal, but as of right now, this is what is good for me.”
Barring a serious injury, Mikey Garcia expects to be back in the ring before the end of the year. His final message to his fans was:
“I told everybody that I’d be back and now that I am, I hope that everyone keeps up and watches me and follows me on all my social media platforms because we’re making big fights and making the fights you all want to see.
Mikey Garcia can be reached on Twitter with the username @MikeyGarcia and on both Instagram and FaceBook with the username TeamMikeyGarcia.