By Keith Idec
Mikey Garcia feels more prepared physically as he wraps up this training camp than he did toward the end of his two previous camps.
Garcia attributes his increased power and speed to bringing back strength and conditioning coach Darryl Hudson for his fight against WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs, 1 NC). Hudson didn’t work with Garcia prior to his last two fights, but the undefeated 126-pound contender felt it was essential to have Hudson help him get ready for this Jan. 19 world title fight in New York.
“We wanted to work a little more than what we normally do,” said Garcia, who initially considered hiring Alex Ariza to work with him for this fight. “He brings in his equipment to the gym every day that we work with him. It does help. I feel faster, stronger, quicker. I just feel better when I work with him, so I wanted to bring him back, especially for this fight.
“We do a lot of resistance-band routines. We work on our arms, we work on our legs, we work on our back. He really knows what he’s doing. I can see it and I can feel it. I can feel it in the ring, I can see it in my body. So it definitely, definitely does help.”
As he has done for the past three years, Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs), a native of Oxnard, Calif., trained for the Salido fight at 2 Feathers Boxing Gym in Riverside, Calif., about a 15-minute drive from Garcia’s home.
“We’ve been having a great camp,” Garcia said. “We’ve done everything to get in the best shape possible. I’m very excited to be fighting for a world title, so I’m putting in the extra effort in camp and I just got to love it.
“The work is harder. The intensity is a lot more intense than other times. There’s just little details we’ve taken care of to make sure I’ve done everything needed to win.”
The 12-round Garcia-Salido showdown will be part of an HBO tripleheader from The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The broadcast also will include 12-round championship bouts that’ll pit WBA middleweight title-holder Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) against Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs) and WBO super featherweight title-holder Rocky Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) against Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs).
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.