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Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia exudes confidence and self-assurance just days before what he considers the fight of his life: a WBO featherweight title bout against reigning champion Orlando "Siri" Salido on Saturday night (HBO, 9:45 p.m. ET) from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
"It's the fight we've waited for, sought out and at last it's here and I don't plan on wasting the opportunity," said a determined Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs), who has scored a knockout in 14 of his past 15 fights and is regarded as one of the best fighters in the sport at 126 pounds.
After a training session at his camp in Riverside, Calif., the unbeaten Mexican-American fighter chatted with ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com about his preparation and analyzed his opponent, Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs), 32, a native of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico.
Garcia, 25, feels perfectly supported by his first-class corner, led by his father and trainer, Eduardo Garcia, who has developed champions at the famed La Colonia Boxing Club in Oxnard, Calif. -- including Fernando Vargas, among others -- and came out of retirement to work with his youngest son. Garcia is also trained by his older brother, Robert "Grandpa" Garcia, a former world champion recognized as one of the best boxing trainers today.
"In my view, I have the perfect corner," Garcia said. "The best in the world and we all know what we're doing. Therefore, I have total confidence in what they tell me, in the work we do, because they have proven their ability with results. It is one of the most experienced and one of the best corners in boxing."
With his family behind him in the corner, Garcia hopes to end up with his arms in the air on Saturday, which he believes will open doors for him leading to more important fights.
What does it mean to you to be undefeated?
I don't feel that it is an advantage against Orlando Salido, but I am confident that no one can defeat me and mentally it gives me a lot of strength because I have not tasted defeat yet and I plan to keep it that way.
|Mikey Garcia, right, returns to The Theater at Madison Square Garden for the first time since stopping Juan Carlos Martinez in 2011.|
Do you feel you are at the peak of your boxing career?
Yes, I am in my prime because I am young, strong, fast and I feel that I have everything to gain.
How do you feel almost a week from your fight?
I feel very well, very strong, very fast, very motivated because we have given 100 percent to everything we've done in terms of preparation and everything necessary to make the most of this opportunity before me.
What have you done differently in preparing for this bout?
The only thing that's been different is the sacrifice I've made in being apart -- during my preparation -- from my wife and family to focus on my work, rest well and do everything necessary in the gym. [I am] focused on the fight besides the fact that the training has been tougher than usual.
What will it take to beat Orlando Salido?
With speed, with skill, with agility, with good legwork, with good combinations, with effective punching -- you beat him with technique and that is what we are preparing for Jan. 19.
Do you think you have a better punch than him?
This is a matter of punching power and resistance. He falls down, but he gets up and keeps fighting hard. He has very good punching power and good resistance. Perhaps he will feel the effects of my punches, but I know he will not quit. Thus, I think that punching power and resistance are virtues that complement each other. He also hits very hard and his punch is as strong as mine.
Do you think he is better than you in terms of experience?
Yes, he is a very experienced fighter and one can say that he has fought with the best in the division. He knows what to do inside the ring because he has lived it many times and, yes, he is a boxer with great experience.
Can this fight be labeled as another battle between Mexicans?
It will be the same as all of them: tough, hard and great for the public, who will enjoy a great fight and we hope to leave a good impression for all boxing fans.