November 7th, 2013 By Pedro FernandezSan Francisco, CA– Greatness in boxing is rare and fleet. One night a fighter could be at the pinnacle of his career, the next time he climbs between the ropes it’s over! Mikey Garcia is 32-0, 27 KOs, his brother and trainer Roberto was a flash in the pan as IBF junior lightweight champion. Is Mikey headed down the same path in boxing? Is Mikey here today and gone tomorrow? Skilled, agile, the ability to adapt to various styles, those are some of the Garcia positives.
HISTORIAN LIKES WHAT HE SEES IN MIKEY
According to historian Ron Marshall of Alameda, CA, Mikey is just a couple of fights away from being a boxing superstar. “I think eventually he will be supreme at 135 and possibly 140,” said Marshall who has a good point when he says that the Mexican-American fighting out of Oxnard, CA, has gotten better each time out. Across the ring Saturday night will be Roman Martinez, Puerto Rico’s only titleholder of significance, the WBO 130 belt bearer. Nobody gives the Puerto Rican (27-1-2, 17 KOs) a shot here as I was on the phone all week asking who wins, Garcia or Martinez and nobody was taking the Boricua born champion to retain.
MARTINEZ NOT GIVING AWAY WBO BELT!
While to many it is a foregone conclusion that Garcia wins here, you cannot dismiss the Puerto Rican champion who has won all but one fight with WBO 135 lb. guy Ricky Burns in 2010 in the UK. Outside of that and a couple of draws, Martinez is unbeaten and seeing the manner in which Burns retained his title vs Ray Beltran a couple of months ago, who is to say that lone loss wasn’t the result of home cooking? If Martinez is to move on in boxing, he must defy the odds by keeping Mikey “out of his space.” Boxing at the right distance and at a slower pace, this would be to the Puerto Rican’s favor.
BOXING NEEDS TO CULTIVATE STARS IN BIG WAY
As far as being a superstar is concerned, while there is definitely a shortage of superlative boxers today as the term is vastly overused in this the 12 round era of boxing. Back to historian Marshall, Ron is of the opinion that boxing lost its legitimacy when Jose Sulaiman of the WBC cut championship fights from 15 rounds at 12, he said for the safety of fighters when the reality may have been they can fit a 12 round fight into a one hour TV slot, unlike a 15 rounder. In closing, historian Marshall feels, “There should be an asterisk next to each champion after the 15 round fights were taken away.”
MIKEY GARCIA LOOKS TO HAVE “THE GOODS”
Although Mikey Garcia failed to make way for one fight, something I feel is inexcusable, I think there is an abundance of talent in the young man from Oxnard. While he is favored over Martinez Saturday, it would be hard to pick against him in any fight at 130 pounds. Let Nonito Donaire, a man who wants no part of a rematch with Guillermo Rigondeaux who defeated him handily in April, if he gets past Saturday night with Vic Darchinyan, and he will, and Garcia prevails, let the two Californians go at it in a fight that means something for both the fighters and the fans.