Elijah Garcia earned some high-profile exposure when the emerging middleweight produced the most impressive victory of his career March 4.
Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime announced Monday night that the undefeated, 19-year-old Garcia will encounter Kevin Salgado in the pay-per-view opener on the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia undercard April 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The 10-round bout between Garcia (14-0, 12 KOs), a strong southpaw from Wittmann, Arizona, and Mexico’s Salgado (15-1-1, 10 KOs) will be part of a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast April 22 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this major pay-per-view event and I’m excited for the opportunity,” Garcia said. “After my last fight, I’ve been in the gym waiting for the time to showcase my skills yet again. I’m planning on putting on a great performance against Salgado on April 22. The main event is a great fight and ‘Tank’ is a beast, and Ryan is undefeated and talented and will be a tough test. But make sure you don’t miss my fight, because it’s going to be a Mexican war for all of the fans.”
The ambitious Garcia, whose goal is to win a middleweight world title by the time he is “21 or 22,” was rewarded for how he handled the risk he took against Amilcar Vidal last month in the opener of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader. Garcia, who will turn 20 on April 26, knocked out the previously undefeated Vidal (16-1, 12 KOs) in the fourth round of their scheduled 10-rounder on the Brandon Figueroa-Mark Magsayo undercard at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Uruguay’s Vidal, 27, entered the ring ranked ninth in the WBC’s middleweight rankings, whereas Garcia took a significant step up in opposition.
The 25-year-old Salgado, a Mexico City native who resides in San Antonio, lost a 10-round unanimous decision to junior middleweight Joey Spencer last September 4 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Spencer (16-1, 10 KOs), of Linden, Michigan, was undefeated when he out-boxed Salgado on the Andy Ruiz-Luis Ortiz undercard.
Salgado knocked out journeyman Gilberto Flores (25-22, 19 KOs) in the first round of his last bout, a tune-up December 15 in Queretaro, Mexico.
“I know that I’m facing a good opponent, but I’m ready to surprise the boxing world,” Salgado said. “This is a great opportunity for me. I’m grateful to be in this position and I’m coming to take full advantage of it. I’m feeling strong in training camp and I’ll be ready to test Garcia and see where he stacks up.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.