By Keith Idec
Mikey Garcia had no problems at Friday's weigh-in in Corpus Christi, Texas - but the former featherweight champion had some struggles back on June 14 in Dallas.
Garcia realized in advance of stepping on the scale prior to his last fight that he’d have to surrender his WBO featherweight title before his 12-rounder against Juan Manuel Lopez even began. The 25-year-old Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) couldn’t get any lower than 128 pounds that day, two pounds more than the featherweight limit.
“It was very disappointing,” Garcia said recently while promoting his fight Saturday night against Rocky Martinez (HBO; 9:30 p.m. ET/PT). “I was very sad. I worked very hard to get that title. I waited over two years in line to get that title shot and to not be able to defend and to lose it on the scale, it was hard. As we were walking down the elevator and through the hallways, going to the weigh-in knowing that I was no longer champion, I just tried to move forward and do the best that I could.”
Garcia was worried, too, that everything he put his body through in attempting to make weight would affect him in the ring against Puerto Rico’s Lopez. The Oxnard, Calif., native stopped Lopez in the fourth round of a one-sided bout, but Garcia was concerned because even a faded Lopez (33-3, 30 KOs) was dangerous due to his power.
“[There] was a little bit of uncertainty on our part because we weren’t 100-percent sure if my body was going to be able to recover to be able to fight to the best of my capabilities,” Garcia said. “We were worried that my body would not be able to take a punch as well, that I may tire soon, that I may not be 100 percent.
“But everything went well. I started feeling confident after the first round. I started working behind my jab and after I dropped him in the second round I knew that I still had the power to hurt him. Everything turned out well in the fourth round.”
His older brother/trainer, Robert Garcia, said “it is still not easy” to get down to 130 pounds, but Mikey Garcia stepped on the scale and came through on Friday, and now he moves on to his opportunity to capture the WBO super featherweight title from Puerto Rico’s Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KOs) at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.
“So far everything is going so well I think I can make 126 again,” Mikey Garcia said. “But we feel that we want to be comfortable in the ring on Saturday night.”
Garica is appreciative that his promoter, Top Rank Inc., made sure his failure to make weight for his last fight wasn’t as big of a setback as it could’ve been.
“It’s great, wonderful,” Garcia said. “I feel very happy to have this opportunity after what happened in the last fight. To lose the title on the scale and to be given the opportunity to fight for a world title is great and I’m really happy for that.
“I want to thank everyone for putting this together — Top Rank, my manager, Cameron Dunkin and HBO, and Rocky Martinez as well, because they accepted a fight with me. It’s a big opportunity. I’m back where I want to be and I hope to capture another world title.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.