Mikey Garcia is not flashy. He’s not cocky. He’s not boisterous, but he is ready. And he’ll need to be if he wants a chance to beat Adrien Broner July 29 at Barclays Center.
Garcia is intelligent, articulate and poised. When he sat to discuss his fight in Brooklyn against long-time boxing bad boy, Adrien Broner, he spoke of his opponent with reverence. The fight will be shown live on SHOWTIME.
Despite the rocky personal road that’s preceded Broner leading up to the fight (posting alarming suicidal messages on Instagram as well as being arrested as recently as April for bullet holes found in the side of his SUV), Garcia demurred at any mention of his opponent’s personal history, simply stating that he’s focused on preparation.
“We’re expecting the best Adrien Broner,” said Garcia. “And when he’s on his A-game, he’s a beast.”
Garcia is absolutely right about that. Personal issues aside, Broner has always been a talented fighter. Posting a 33-2 record with 24 career KOs, Broner is a force to be reckoned with at the top of his game. Garcia seems to be up to the challenge.
Some of the biggest names in boxing, past or present—Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather—have built their legacies with their mouths as well as their fists, but not Garcia.
“I’m not that,” he explained. “But it seems like my fights speak for themselves.”
He’s exactly right. Garcia may not talk much, but his fights take care of a lot of that for him. At 29, he’s posted an impressive 36-0 record with 30 knockouts under his belt. A victory over Broner would make him the first person to ever beat Broner at 140 pounds, but even with all of this, he still remains humble.
He’s not shy or bashful. He’s doesn’t regurgitate canned responses to avoid controversy. Instead, he answers every question with the comfort and ease of someone who is entirely confident in his ability.
No fear in his voice. No doubt. No need to over compensate with outlandish declarations, poetic prophecies, or violent guarantees.
Just an honest appraisal of his own skills.
And, calmly, as he looked forward to his upcoming fight with Broner—in the same tone that someone might recite a grocery list—Garcia mused at the possibility of a knockout.
“I think I’ve got the power to do it,” said Garcia. “I definitely see the possibility…I hurt the guy, I’m gonna stop him.”
He didn’t do it on a milk crate, grandstand, or center stage. He didn’t do it with the expectation of headlines, bright lights or newsreels. He did it with the quiet confidence of a man who knows exactly what he’s capable of.
Garcia carries himself with the humility of someone who understands the value of hard work and the confidence of someone who has enjoyed the results that it reaps.
He approaches life with the modesty of someone who’s come from nothing, and earned everything, speaking candidly about ideas like the American dream and what it’s meant to him and his family.
His father, Eduardo Garcia, labored in the strawberry fields of Oxnard, Calif., working until he could open a gym, and ultimately train world champion fighters.
“I still remember my dad coming home with red stains all over his clothes, and going to the gym,” recalled Garcia. “You work hard. You have a dream. You don’t give up. My dad had his dream of being a champion boxing trainer. He accomplished that.”
He sure did, training world champion Fernando Vargas and Roberto Garcia, his son and Mikey’s older brother, to championship titles of their own. Now, alongside his son Roberto, who serves as Mikey’s head trainer, he hopes that Mikey finds that same success.
Garcia hopes that this matchup with Broner will render a win and open doors for his career in the future.
“It’s a bigger challenge fighting Adrien Broner,” said Garcia. “I want to make sure that every fight means more to me, gives me a reason to motivate myself more, and look for bigger fights after that.”
A win versus Broner would give Garcia victories in four separate weight classes (featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight), a feat only a few have accomplished, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Broner himself.
Garcia didn’t balk at the idea of stepping up a fifth time either, depending on how his fight with Broner plays out.
“If the right fight is available,” Garcia said. “We could possibly even move up higher.”
With big-name welterweight fighters like Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and even Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather breathing life back into the sport, Garcia’s prospects are booming with potential.
The future is bright for Garcia. To him, there is no ceiling. He knows that. It’s just a matter of time before we do, too.
But for now, Garcia outlined his plan of attack in three simple steps: “Get in the ring. Do my job. Knock people out.”