Mikey Garcia views this weekend as the first step on the path to reclaiming past glory in the 140-pound division.
The former four-division champion will fight at a maximum of 145 pounds in his upcoming clash with Spain’s Sandor Martin. The catchweight is a little lighter than he originally intended heading into this event, though fitting considering the loftier goals he has in store for the upcoming year—revisiting a hoped-for clash with former junior welterweight titlist Regis Prograis, which he plans to parlay into big fights with the two most notable names in the division.
“I think I would do a fight with Regis right after this fight,” Garcia told BoxingScene.com and other reporters during a virtual roundtable interview to discuss the upcoming DAZN main event. “That would raise the hype around a future fight with me. Next after that, I would do [a fight with undisputed junior welterweight champion] Josh Taylor. That would be a huge fight. After that fight, we’re possibly looking at a rematch.
“If it’s a different name, we’re looking at Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. Or even vice versa, Tank first and then Josh. Those are huge fights at 140, the only two at 140 that capture my attention.”
For now, it’s Martin (38-2, 13KOs) who has Garcia’s undivided attention.
The fight came about only after plans collapsed for Garcia (40-1, 30KOs) and Prograis (26-1, 22KOs) to meet in a highly anticipated showdown between former titlists. Garcia—who hails from Oxnard, California and trains under older brother Robert out of his Riverside, California facility—signed a blank check after being presented a list of names by event promoter Eddie Hearn, who ultimately settled on Martin—an obscure southpaw from Barcelona who makes his U.S. debut.
Garcia has spent his last two fights at welterweight, though barely weighing more than 145 pounds for his failed IBF welterweight title bid versus unbeaten champ Errol Spence in March 2019 and in a twelve-round, unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas last February. The latter fight saw Garcia—who turns 34 in December—weigh a career-high 145 ¾ pounds (Vargas weighed in right at the 147-pound limit), not too far from the 145-pound catchweight in place for this weekend.
Given the 20-month break between fights, a less restrictive weight limit was initially sought though by no means a deal breaker. Depending on how he feels this weekend, a trip further down the scale is very likely in his future.
“We can fight at 140 for the right fight,” admits Garcia. “Obviously, Josh Taylor is the right fight at 140. I feel I can definitely do that. That’s probably the biggest and most interesting fight for me at 140. I will definitely entertain that.
“This fight is at 145 pounds. Originally, we thought we could do 147 pounds, a fight with a contender at 147. But with the short amount of time, Sandor Martin had requested a catchweight. He was asking for a lower weight at 142. We settled on 145. We’re doing this fight at 145.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox