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Mikey Garcia: “I can be a true player at 147-pounds”

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Mikey Garcia 39-1 (30) is confident he can return to the winners’ circle against Jessie Vargas 29-2-2 (11) this weekend following his disastrous welterweight debut almost a year ago.

The 32-year-old Californian was comprehensively outclassed by IBF 147-pound champion Errol Spence Jr 26-0 (21) over 12 rounds in Arlington, Texas last March but insists he can still compete with the top names at welterweight.

“I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a great fight and it’s going to allow me to show all my fans that I’m a lot more than I was in my last fight,” Garcia said to Fino Boxing.

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“So it’s going to answer a lot of the questions and a lot of the doubts. I don’t like losing in my last fight and I want to get back into the winning circle.

“It’s been a year now and I think my body has adjusted better. When I tried to bulk up in 10 weeks, I tried to drain down a little bit to get quicker, but there wasn’t enough time.

“I learned and used that experience to learn and do better next time. I feel confident. People are going to say, ‘Damn, Mikey is a real welterweight. He can really do something at welterweight’.”

Garcia, who moved up from lightweight to face Spence Jr, said his critics have a right to be disappointed in his last performance.

“I don’t want to call them ‘haters,’ but they have the right to have that opinion,” Garcia added.

“My performance in my last fight was the worst of my career. I felt slow, sluggish, tired, weak, and I couldn’t do anything. Errol fought a great fight. I think this performance will show that I can be a lot more than I was in my last fight.

“I can be a true player at 147, and I think they’re going to change their mind about me fighting at welterweight.”

A fight that Garcia would like to pursue is against IBF and WBA junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor 16-0 (12), who is coming off a thrilling 12-round points win over previously undefeated Regis Prograis 24-1 (20) in the final of the World Boxing Super Series last October.

“It’s a one-fight deal [with Matchroom]. That’s a fight that interests me a lot,” he said.

“He just signed with Top Rank, and it looks like they’re leaning in the direction to fight Jose Ramirez soon, but if I can catch him before then, I’d be open to fighting in the UK. I’d really love that fight.”

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