Mikey Garcia is decided to reclaim his place as one in every of boxing largest stars.
The previous four-division titleholder has been out of the ring since he outpointed Jessie Vargas in February of final 12 months, virtually 20 months in the past. He was a candidate to face Manny Pacquiao after which Regis Prograis in main fights within the meantime however neither bout materialized.
That leaves Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) with a return battle in opposition to obscure Sandor Martin on Saturday in Fresno, California (DAZN). Nicely, it’s a begin.
“It’s been a 12 months and a half since my final battle, so I’m excited to get again in there,” Garcia mentioned. “I’m wanting ahead to giving my followers an opportunity to see me once more, particularly right here in Cali. It’s my residence state however I haven’t fought a lot right here.
“I wish to pursue huge fights, title fights, and be acknowledged as top-of-the-line fighters on the planet as soon as once more. That is one other step in that course.”
Garcia is way faraway from his greatest days, when he plowed via a collection of revered opponents – Orlando Salido, Juan Manuel Lopez, Roman Martinez, Adrien Broner, Robert Easter and extra – to win one title after one other in dominating trend.
That streak resulted in one disastrous battle, a shutout loss to Errol Spence Jr. in Garcia’s debut as a welterweight in March 2019. He rebounded to knock down and beat Vargas however he wasn’t perceived the identical.
Garcia gave the impression to be the main candidate to face Pacquiao, which might’ve supplied the chance to instantaneously rise again to the highest. Nonetheless, the Filipino opted to face Spence earlier than finally preventing Yordenis Ugas when Spence suffered a watch damage in coaching.
And a possible assembly with Prograis by no means got here to fruition as a result of DAZN wasn’t prepared to fund the battle with out time to put it on the market correctly, Garcia mentioned.
That left him with Martin, a 28-year-old Spaniard who’s on a nine-fight profitable streak however has by no means confronted anybody close to Garcia’s capability and has fought solely in Europe. Plus, the resident of Barcelona shall be shifting up from junior welterweight for the battle.
Nonetheless, Garcia sees Martin (38-2, 13 KOs) as a stable opponent.
“He’s an excellent fighter,” Garcia mentioned. “He’s a southpaw. He’s comparatively unknown in America, however worldwide and within the sport, individuals know him. He’s obtained an incredible document at 38-2, he’s hungry for an enormous alternative like this and needs to capitalize on it.
“Sandor is aware of a win on Saturday would catapult his title into the combination for the fights that I would like. I don’t assume it’s going to be a simple evening in any respect, however I’m planning on preventing the easiest Sandor Martin and I’m going to indicate all my expertise and present that I’m a power to be reckoned with.”
Garcia in all probability received’t have an excessive amount of hassle with Martin. Then we’ll see whether or not he can get an enormous battle.