By Chris Robinson
March 10th will mark another significant step in the career progression of rising featherweight Miguel ‘Mikey’ Garcia.
Having recently turned just 24 years old, Garcia has a great pedigree behind him in the form of his father and trainer Eduardo as well as his co-trainer, brother, and former champion Robert. Mikey’s makeup as a fighter includes patient aggression, a debilitating body attack, and solid power in each of his fists, as he has pulled in 23 knockouts in his 27 victories against no losses.
Garcia’s March 10th assignment will see him land in San Juan, Puerto Rico as he will serve as the co-feature to the heavily-anticipated rematch between Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez. While originally slated to be facing off with Sorsogon, Philippines native Michael Farenas, Garcia now finds himself in with a more familiar name in former title challenger Bernabe Concepcion, Farenas' countryman, who hails from Catanduanes.
Speaking on the latest change in his schedule, Garcia shows familiarity with his new opponent.
“I know Bernabe, he’s a tough fighter,” Garcia stated on Thursday morning. “I’ve seen him before and I saw him fight [Juan Manuel] Lopez. Before I saw him fight Luevano when my brother had Steven. He always came to the fight ready to win. He came up short both times, but he was always trying. He’s a tough fighter. That’s all I can say about him.”
Concepcion’s challenge of Lopez’s WBO featherweight title in July of 2010 was a memorable one as he was rocked early before turning the tables to drop the champion at the end of the first round. Concepcion’s success was short-lived, however, as he was again hurt and later starched in a fateful second round.
Asked if seeing Lopez stop Concepcion so convincingly gives him any extra confidence, Garcia brushed off the notion with a professional approach to the possible danger that lies ahead.
“No, he just got caught,” Garcia continued. “Actually, he had Lopez hurt earlier in the fight, at the end of the first round I believe. He dropped him and everything and in the second round he came trying to put Lopez down and actually it was Lopez who caught him. If he would have hurt Lopez in the second round before Lopez got to him, he might have ended up finishing the fight and winning the fight.”
“I don’t see that as a sign of weakness or better chances for me. Like I said, he’s a tough opponent. He just got caught that moment. He was in the fight and it was a good, action fight.”
Garcia gave some updates on his latest camp, as he is dividing his time between his regular stomping grounds of Riverside, California as well as Abel Sanchez’s gym up in Big Bear in order to get sparring. Garcia’s brother Robert will also be making the trek to Riverside from Oxnard in the coming weeks in order to bring in some sparring mates from his own gym, so it definitely sounds like the budding contender will be getting plenty of great work ahead of the fight.
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