By Carlos Arias
LAS VEGAS --- Robert Garcia and Floyd Mayweather both held world titles in the super-featherweight division back in 1999, but they never met in the ring. They came close.
There was talk back then that if Garcia beat Diego "Chico" Corrales he would face Mayweather in a unification bout. Corrales stopped Garcia in the seventh round to hand him his first professional defeat and went on to face Mayweather, who TKO'd Chico in the 10th round.
Now, Garcia is a trainer and his star pupil, Marcos Maidana, is taking on Mayweather on Saturday night at the MGM Grand on Showtime PPV.
"We were champions at the same time in (1999)," Garcia said. "It's something we got to admire, we got to respect. (Fifteen) years later and he's still a world champion. He came to become the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, so just being a part of it and not fighting him, but not going in against him, I'm also in the fight pretty much. I'm also in the fight against him. It's amazing just to be part of this.
"(Manny) Pacquiao has been the best for many years. He's done a lot. He's accomplished more titles than Mayweather has, but we just got to be real. Mayweather is the best at this right now. He's huge. He's the best. A lot of people might think that he's the best in history. That itself tells you a lot. He's way, way bigger."
So what would a Maidana victory over Mayweather mean to Garcia and everybody at Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, Calif.?
"I think a fight against Floyd, I mean, we're going in against the best in the world," Garcia said. "We're going against the best in history. It is big, bigger than anything I've ever been involved in. I've been in great fights against some of the best fighters in the world. This is definitely the biggest challenge, the biggest name that we've faced. It would be huge not only for myself. I don't do things by myself. I have a great team with (strength and conditioning coach) Alex (Ariza), with our cook, with our assistants, with our dietician and nurse. We have everything in our camp. Everybody is part of the win."
Contact Carlos Arias on Twitter @PunchyMcGee.