'Other' Garcia pushed for Manny
By Joaquin Henson
Wed, 06 Nov 2019
LOS ANGELES. If you ask former IBF superfeatherweight champion and now boxing trainer Robert Garcia who should be super WBA welterweight titlist Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent, he’ll push for his younger brother Mikey.
Garcia, 44, attended to two fighters in the Top Rank card at the Dignity Health Sports Park last Saturday night in nearby Carson where IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas should’ve made his eighth title defense until it was postponed because of his Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez’ inability to clear state medical exams due to the delayed issuance of his US visa.
“I prefer Mikey more than Danny Garcia as Manny’s next challenger not because he’s my brother,” said Garcia who has been to Manila at least twice to work the corners of Brian Viloria and Nonito Donaire, Jr. “Danny’s of Puerto Rican descent while Mikey is of Mexican descent. From a pay-per-view standpoint, Manny against Mikey is a bigger sell because of the rivalry between the Philippines and Mexico. I guarantee it’ll be an exciting fight.”
Garcia said at the moment, Mikey isn’t doing hard training. “He comes in twice a week to work out in the gym,” said Garcia. “He’s not going down in weight. He’s staying at 147. If Manny calls for Mikey, I’ll make sure he’s in line. He hasn’t fought since losing a decision to (Errol) Spence last March. It’s sad what happened to Spence and it’s a miracle that he survived the car accident.”
Garcia said it’s exclusively Pacquiao’s decision whom to fight next. “It’s Manny’s choice and whomever he is, I’m sure the fight will be a blockbuster,” he said. “For me, I’m just hoping to go back to Manila for the press conference to announce the fight between Manny and Mikey, if ever. I love Manila and I love Filipinos.”
Garcia said he has relocated his boxing gym from Oxnard to Riverside. His new facility includes living quarters for 15 fighters under his care. Mikey, 31, was once the WBO featherweight, WBO superfeatherweight, WBC/IBF lightweight and IBF lightwelterweight champion. His only loss in the pros was to Spence. Mikey’s record is 39-1, with 30 KOs.
Garcia said he was disappointed that Ancajas’ defense was cancelled last Saturday. “I know Jerwin trained hard for that fight and I know how it feels not to be able to fight when you’re ready to go,” he said. “If I was told even a week before to prepare a replacement in case Rodriguez wouldn’t be able to fight, I could’ve suggested Joshua Franco whom I train. Joshua is the kind of guy who’ll fight anyone for a payday. He’s a bantamweight but he would’ve gone down to 115 for the chance to fight for the world title.”
Franco, 24, has a 15-1-2 record, with 7 KOs and is ranked No. 7 by the IBF, No. 10 by the WBC and WBO and No. 12 by the WBA as a bantamweight. He’s known as the Professor and is the reigning WBA International and North American Boxing Federation bantamweight champion.
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