There is still plenty Mikey Garcia would like to accomplish before he retires.
The way he feels physically and mentally, the four-division champion can’t see any reason he won’t box for another “three to five years.” Had he not spent 2½ years out of the ring, though, Garcia figures he’d be ready for retirement at this point.
The 32-year-old Garcia discussed how his retirement age changed following his long layoff as part of a wide-ranging Instagram Live interview with Premier Boxing Champions’ Ray Flores. The show streamed Monday night on PBC’s YouTube channel.
“When I first started my professional career, I had a number,” Garcia said. “I figured at age 30 I’ll probably be ready to retire. Had I not taken the time off, then I probably would have retired between 30 and 32. But being that I did take the time off, now all that has changed. I’m 32 and I feel like I’m hitting my prime. So, I’m definitely not gonna retire anytime soon.”
Garcia, of Moreno Valley, California, was 18 when he made his pro debut in July 2006. He had just turned 26 when his 2½-year break began due to a contractual dispute with former promoter Bob Arum.
Once Garcia and Arum’s Top Rank Inc. reached a termination settlement in May 2016, Garcia returned to the ring for a fifth-round stoppage of Elio Rojas in July 2016.
Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) since has won world titles at lightweight and junior welterweight. The former featherweight and junior lightweight champion also challenged Errol Spence Jr. for the IBF welterweight title 13 months ago, when Garcia suffered the lone loss of his career, a 12-round unanimous decision at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The Oxnard native hopes to become a five-weight world champion by beating WBA welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) whenever he can box again after the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s the fight Garcia wants most, though he also is open to opposing other top welterweights.
Regardless, Garcia believes he has plenty of big fights left in him.
“Me, personally, I think I will keep fighting minimum three to five years,” Garcia said. “However, if things change and I’m unhealthy or I get injured or whatever, then we’ve gotta call it quits. But if I’m healthy and I’m physically fit to keep fighting and keep competing at this level, then I’ll definitely be fighting for at least three to five years, you know? Like I said, there’s so much more I wanna accomplish, and I don’t see me retiring anytime soon. If I’m healthy for all this time, I’m gonna do this for a long time. I wanna leave a big legacy. I wanna leave a big impression in boxing. I wanna be remembered among the greatest to do it.”
Garcia won for the first time as a welterweight in his last fight. He knocked down Jessie Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) in the fifth round of that bout and won a 12-round unanimous decision February 29 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.