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Gamboa vs Garcia: Brother Robert Breaks it Down

By Chris Robinson

On April 16th the landscape of the featherweight division was changed dramatically when WBO champion Juan Manuel Lopez was shocked by unheralded Orlando Salido in eight rounds inside of the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The upset ruined any immediate plans of a fight between Lopez and WBA champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, a fight that many had been hoping to happen for well over a year and one that seemed set to be heading to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
 
But in the wake of Lopez's defeat something rose to the surface; the simple fact being that the featherweight division is still a stacked division chalked full of former champions, up and coming contenders, and formidable title holders. Regardless of whether a super fight will emerge from the division anytime soon, there is still a wealth of talent to keep up with at 126 pounds. 
 
Last night one of the emerging stars from the featherweight class put his skills on display as Oxnard, California's Miguel 'Mikey' Garcia tore through late replacement Rafael Guzman on the undercard of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's excellent title-winning scrap with WBC middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik. Showing typical patience and poise, Garcia overwhelmed his Mexican foe from the start with precise power shots, eventually carving out a 4th round knockout.
 
At 23 years old Garcia has a big upside and people are now pondering where he stands in his weight class. Following his victory I caught up with his trainer and older brother Robert, a former junior lightweight champion himself, to get his take on everything from Mikey's performance, the influence he has on aspiring fighters in the Oxnard Boxing Academy, how he sizes up Gamboa, and much more.
 
In his own words this is what Robert had to say...
 
Mikey Garcia's latest victory...
"He's a very efficient fighter inside of the ring. Little by little he's breaking opponents down and he's staying smart. After the first round he started taking control with his jab and those straight right hands. He might have lost the first round because the other guy threw more punches but I think overall he did an excellent job."
 
Improving in recent years...
"If you see, and I'm not talking just for Mikey, but also Brandon Rios, Nonito Donaire, and those top fighters that are training with us, I think every fight in the past two or three years, they are improving so much. Mikey himself, little by little, he is looking better and better. As well as Brandon and Nonito Donaire. The last four fights, I think it just shows the good work that we are doing in the gym and them listening and trying to get better. Even the kids in the gym, it rubs off on them, when they see a Nonito Donaire chasing the pound for pound, or they see Brandon Rios winning a title fight, you see nothing but heart and power. They might not fight with the same style but they want to prove that they also have those same qualities. I think it helps having different styles in the gym and having guys improve, it makes everybody want to do better."
 
Stepping up the competition at 126 pounds...
"I think we're ready. Mikey has been fighting consistently and he knows he's ready. He's been proving it to the world. But we do have a promoter and we do have Cameron Dunkin who makes the decision for us. So if they feel that we need one or two more fights, we're OK with that too. We're already fighting on HBO and we're fighting on good undercards. So it doesn't make a difference if it's his next fight or two fights later. We feel that we might be ready now but it's all up to Top Rank and Cameron Dunkin. They work with a lot of the champions so it should be a lot easier for us to get a title shot. But we're not going to push it or say that it has to be the next fight. It doesn't have to be the next fight."

More substance than flash...
"Mikey's not a flashy fighter. Mikey's not one of the fighters that captures the attention in the first round or in training. Rudy Hernandez once told me that nobody really paid attention to Mikey when he was sparring, but if you notice, he doesn't get hit and he lands whenever he wants. He gets work done and he felt that he would be a world champion."
 
The danger of Yuriorkis Gamboa...
"Gamboa, without a doubt, is the best fighter in the featherweight division. That's why Mikey wants to fight him. Because he wants to prove that he is better than Gamboa, that he is the best out there. People might not think that he will be ready for Gamboa, because Gamboa is fast and strong and he's flashy. With his style, I know that he's not going to rush Mikey the way he's going to rush his other opponents. Because Mikey's going to sit back and catch him coming in. Mikey's not going to chase him around but he will follow him, little by little. Gamboa can move and throw in combinations but it's the fight we would prepare for 100% until we got the job done."

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here, and he can be reached at [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by rican4life on 06-06-2011

???????????????..

Comment by Cubanborn87 on 06-06-2011

thats wassup yo, hopefully they make that scrap for ac but knowing arum i doubt it

Comment by PACnPBFsuck on 06-06-2011

[QUOTE=Cubanborn87;10655316]u must be talking about this cat haha [/QUOTE] Yeah dude that's him, I was in the same section sitting about 6 rows back.

Comment by Cubanborn87 on 06-06-2011

[QUOTE=PACnPBFsuck;10655296]This time, don't take your buddy with the hat screaming the entire fight "viva cuba", even though he was white, that dude was crazy.:nana:[/QUOTE] u must be talking about this cat haha

Comment by Cubanborn87 on 06-06-2011

[QUOTE=PACnPBFsuck;10655296]This time, don't take your buddy with the hat screaming the entire fight "viva cuba", even though he was white, that dude was crazy.:nana:[/QUOTE] bro i was sitting right behind them , haha that white dude was crazy yo he…

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