Garcia: ‘I Want To Create A Bigger Legacy For Myself’
At just 32, Mikey Garcia has managed to remain a consistent force within boxing. A former WBC Lightweight and WBO Featherweight Champion, Garcia (39-1) moved up two weight classes to prove his durability. In his way to further championship glory is Jessie Vargas, a multiple-time boxing champion himself.
Garcia faces Vargas (29-2-2) inside the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas on February 29. In only his second fight at welterweight, Garcia believes he is ready to become the top guy in an unfamiliar division.
“I think that there’s a lot more that I can do at 147lbs,” said Garcia during camp. “The Spence fight was not a representation of that, it wasn’t my night and not the fight that I wanted to fight, I just couldn’t perform and once in a while you have an off night and it happened to be that night for me. I need to show my fans and the boxing world that I can do a lot more, even at 147lbs.”
The first time Garcia fought at welterweight was in March, losing to losing to IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. via unanimous decision. It was a one-sided affair that disappointed the fans of Garcia. He himself was disappointed with his performance, hence the need to prove himself within the division. More prepared than ever before, Garcia is ready for this next step in his career.
“I consider this the third stage of my career because I am coming off a loss,” Garcia continued. “Can I come back stronger and better than before or am I done? Past my prime? That’s why I’m here to prove it to everyone that I’m not any less than what you saw in previous years, in fact, I am only getting better. I’m not declining at all; I’m fast, strong and talented, and I consider this next part to be the best years of my career.”
After his 20th fight, a TKO-win against Arturo Gomez, Vargas defeated Tomas Villa in 2010 to win the vacant IBF-USBA Featherweight Title. From there, the championship wins started coming more frequently. With back-to-back wins against Sergey Lipinets (for the IBF and lineal Junior Welterweight Titles) and Robert Easter Jr. (for the IBF Lightweight Title), Garcia has proven his dominance time and time again. Before losing to Spence, he was considered the gold standard.
Now, Garcia has a new goal in mind: win the important fights and secure another title opportunity.
“A World title in a fifth division is very exciting,” Garcia went on to say. “I would love to fight for a title again at 147lbs, claiming a World title in a fifth division would be amazing and that’s why I am staying at 147, but there are other motivations for me in the sport, I’m not done, there’s a lot more to accomplish. After this fight I’ll look at options at 147lbs and 140lbs, I’m not stuck at either weight, I’m keeping my options open.
“I have a lot of legacy to build still, I want to create a bigger legacy for myself and for my family. I’m not done. I still feel I have a lot more to accomplish and I know I will. I’m in the prime of my career right now. There’s no looking back or stopping me right now.”