World championship fights: 1-0, 0 KOs…
WBO featherweight world champion…
Former NABF featherweight champion, two successful defenses…
Former NABO featherweight champion, one successful defense…
2005 National PAL Championships (amateur), 132 pounds – Gold Medalist…
2004 National Junior Golden Gloves Championships (amateur), 132 pounds, Cadet Division – Gold Medalist…
At the age of 25, Mikey is a six-year pro. The WBO featherweight world champion, he comes from a strong family boxing tradition – he is the younger brother, by almost 13 years, of former IBF junior lightweight world champion Robert Garcia, who is also his co-manager and co-trainer. Their father and Mikey’s other co-trainer, Eduardo Garcia, was the long-time trainer of retired former IBF and WBA 154-pound world champion Fernando Vargas.
Mature beyond his years, Mikey is considered by many observers to be one of boxing’s top young talents at any weight – he has stayed active in the ring and given sensational performances.
He won the WBO world title with an eight-round technical decision against defending champion Orlando Salido in his last fight on January 19.
After the fight, Dan Rafael wrote on [excerpts]: Most folks figured this fight would be a highly competitive and exciting fight – even though the younger, quicker, sharper Garcia was the favorite to beat Salido. But Garcia was thoroughly dominant.
This was an easy fight to score as Garcia won at least seven of the eight rounds, with a few people giving Salido one round. Garcia was not just winning the rounds, he was doing it easily. Garcia scored four knockdowns in the fight to open a massive lead. He floored Salido twice in the first round. He went down again in the third round from an uppercut and then for the fourth time early in the fourth round from a left hand. Garcia was doing as he pleased and it was impressive that Salido, whose face was bruised and swelling, was able to make it through the eighth round.
But just before the end of the eight round, he crashed his head directly into Garcia’s nose and broke it badly. Garcia was having trouble breathing and his nose was obviously crooked. The ringside doctor examined the nose after the eighth round and told referee Benjy Esteves that Garcia could not continue, and Esteves stopped the fight and sent it to the scorecards for a technical decision.
Garcia, who was masterful in the best performance of his career, was not happy to have the fight end like that. Nonetheless, Garcia fulfilled the expectation that he would win a title when he turned pro in 2006.
For Garcia, this could be the start of a lengthy title reign. [End Rafael item]
Mikey said, “My style is very technical. I’m a counterpuncher. I don’t consider myself to be an aggressive brawler or pressure fighter. I’m very calm and technical in the ring – I fight very smart. I’m not going in for the kill every time. If it happens that I hurt my opponent, then I’ll try to finish him – if I drop my opponent, I’ll try to put him out. But that’s not the main thing that I do. I don’t go out there trying to brawl with anybody. I just try to pick their weak spots and work the best.
“I’m naturally righthanded, but I change to southpaw several times during my fights, just for a few rounds depending on my opponent.
“I’m always training. After my fights, I’m always back in the gym in the next few days. We’re always going to be prepared for any fight, any opponent. We’re always going to be in top shape.”
Mikey was an amateur standout and had a win against Danny Garcia, who currently holds the WBC-WBA super lightweight world titles.
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NABO junior lightweight titlist Eloy “The Prince” Perez went through 10 hard rounds of sparring at King’s Gym of Oakland on Friday as he continues to prepare for his Feb. 25 challenge of Adrien “The Problem” Broner’s WBO 130-pound world title.

“Here at King’s Gym, it’s a good atmosphere,” said Perez, who is walking around at 138 pounds for the moment.  “It’s where champions are made, and come February 25th, I’m going to be prepared.”

Trainer Max Garcia and his son, Sam, worked Perez’ corner while’s 2011 Northern California Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter counseled junior welterweight Mike Dallas Jr. and lightweight Stan Martyniouk, who did five rounds apiece with Perez.

Dallas, a boxer-puncher, and Martyniouk, who is more of a stylist, are both taller than the 5’6’’ Perez (23-0-2, 6 KOs), which is a similar situation he will face against Cincinnati’s Broner (22-0, 18 KOs), who has an inch on him.

Over the course of the 10 rounds, the order of the day for “The Prince” was the left hand, as the orthodox Perez displayed a strong jab as well as a very accurate counter hook that he employed in the pocket.

“We’re doing a little more boxing,” said the elder Garcia.  “The last few fights, he was having to go in there, and guys came in to fight, so he was happy to go in there and go at it.

“But now we’re using a little more movement, a little more feints, a little more angles, [and] making [our opponent] reach.  It’s that old Familton Boxing,” Garcia added, referring to the late Don Familton, Perez’ former trainer.

Perez, who traveled north from his usual home of Salinas to the Bay Area to hold camp, addressed his war of words with Broner, who has continued to direct disparaging remarks toward his foe.

“I’ve seen [Perez] in the press conference,” Broner told BoxingScene’s Jake Donovan on Friday. “He had a lot of fat under the chin.”

“It doesn’t bother me,” Perez responded.  “I saw the pictures on the press conference. I did look kind of fluffy, but I’m not fluffy. I’m always in shape. I’m always ready. But he’s a world champ.  I can’t underestimate him.  He’s done his job, and he’s done the dream, and now it’s my time to shine and take it from him.”

Broner-Perez is the co-feature to Devon Alexander’s welterweight scrap with Marcos Maidana, which will be televised on HBO and all take place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.


By Ryan Maquiñana

Exciting 22 year old Weng “Capt. Barbell” Haya, fresh from a gallant showing against WBO featherweight champion Orlando “Siri” Salido of Mexico last December 17 battles equally tough Jose “The Bomber” Ocampo for the WBO Asia Pacific junior lightweight title at the Hoops Dome in Lapu Lapu City on February 4.

Haya who is ranked No. 9 in the Philippines has a record of 15-4 with 8 knockouts while Ocampo who is ranked No. 5 is also 22 years old and sports a record of 14-5-1 with 9 knockouts.

In his fight against Salido who had earlier won the world title with a stunning 8th round TKO over Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez on April 16, 2011 exploded with seconds remaining in the third round and caught Salido with a picture-perfect left hand counter that sent the world champion crashing to the canvas.

With Salido still groggy at the start of round four Haya nailed Salido with a solid left straight to drop the champion for the second time in the scheduled ten round bout but the Mexican was saved by the bell.

Promoter Sammy Gello-ani said a low blow by Salido in round six hurt Haya and as the champion began to use his experience and ring smarts Haya appeared to get frustrated. Salido hurt Haya with a punch that sent him reeling against the ropes. The 31 year old champion went after the young and comparatively inexperienced Filipino and dropped him after which the referee stepped in and called a halt at 0:35 seconds of the 8th round although Gello-ani thought .the stoppage was premature.

Ocampo himself is coming off similar unlucky circumstances when he lost by a 5th round technical decision to southpaw Rey Labao on August 6, 2011.

In an action-packed bout Labao was proclaimed the winner after the ring physician instructed vreferee Sammy Bernabe to call a halt because Ocampo was bleeding badly from a cut over his right eye which Bernabe claimed was caused by an accidental head-butt.

However, repeated slo-motion replays by AKTV IBC 13 which telecast the fight showed it was a perfect left straight that opened up the cut.

At the time of the stoppage judges Salven Lagumbay (48-47) and Eppie Almeda (49-46) had Labao ahead while the third judge Romy Yulo had it even at 48-48.


By Ronnie Nathanielsz

At the press conference for unbeaten junior lightweight Eloy “The Prince” Perez’s upcoming Sept. 2 NABO title defense against Daniel “Azuquita” Jimenez, the mood was celebratory.

After all, not only was the 24-year-old Perez (21-0-2, 5 KOs) returning to his current residence of Salinas, Calif., but promoter Don Chargin was also commemorating the 60th anniversary of his very first fight card.

“I’m happy to be fighting at the Salinas Sports Complex in front of my adopted hometown,” said Perez, who is originally from Rochester, Wa. “It’s great to bring this fight to the fans and something positive to the city of Salinas.”

“I’m really excited about this fight,” said Chargin of the ten-rounder that will be televised on TeleFutura’s Solo Boxeo Tecate. “I actually promoted the fight when Jimenez upset [Vicente] Escobedo in Sacramento. Eloy’s at the point where you got to step up, and he’s fired up and in real good shape.”

Jimenez (20-3-1, 12 KOs), a 30-year-old from San Juan, P.R., once held the same NABO belt five years ago, but hit a snag in his career soon after, losing back-to-back bouts to former world champions Roman Martinez and Jesus Chavez. He has since rebounded, winning three in a row including a fifth-round stoppage of Miguel Angel Munguia in February.

“He’s fought a lot of good fighters and lost to two world champs,” Perez said of his opponent. “I want to dominate Jimenez and show everyone that I belong with the elite fighters in the division.”

“This is definitely history in the making,” said Sam Garcia, Perez’s assistant trainer. “We’ve been waiting to come back here and Eloy’s ready to make moves in the division.”

Currently ranked No. 4 in the WBO 130-pound rankings after a stint in the top contender spot, Perez hopes that an impressive victory here will send him back up the ladder. Despite “The Prince” remaining undefeated, fellow Golden Boy stablemate Adrien Broner leapfrogged him in the rankings and will likely get a coveted title shot at Scotland’s Ricky Burns.

“I’d like to fight for a world title, but I’m not worried about whoever Broner is fighting,” Perez said. “I’m focused on Sept. 3, and Jimenez is going make me look good. I’m going to give the fans a show.”

In the co-feature, super middleweight prospect James Parison (14-1, 4 KOs) of San Diego takes on Paul Mendez of Walnut Creek, Calif. (6-1, 2 KOs).

“This is the first time’s anyone’s asked for James,” said Chargin of Parison, whose lone loss was a decision to Craig McEwan in 2009. “Not too many people want to fight him because he has a tough style, but Paul does. Paul’s been sparring Andre Berto up north and I’ve been hearing that he’s getting some good work in.”

A trio of hot junior featherweight prospects from California will also see action. Fairfield native and Golden Boy signee Manuel Avila (5-0, 2 KOs) fights Ruben Calderon of Kansas City, while fellow 122-pounders Roman Morales (6-0, 4 KOs) of San Ardo and Bruno Escalante (3-0-1, 2 KOs) of San Carlos take on the dreaded TBD in separate bouts.

“About 75 to 100 people will come to support me from home, and it makes you much less nervous,” Morales, a Gary Shaw-promoted fighter, said. “But once you’re up there in the ring, you forget about the noise…I hope to win here and then fight in an eight-rounder by the end of the year.”

“I’ve been sparring with a Glenn Donaire and a couple others for this fight,” Escalante said. “I’m feeling good and ready to go.”

Highly touted amateur Rudy Puga Jr. will make his pro debut in front of his hometown fans against an opponent yet to be determined. Puga went 89-10, earning numerous accolades along the way including a spot with the USA Boxing national team, where he fought overseas in places as far as Azerbaijan.

Puga, who shares manager Kathy Garcia with Perez, takes off the headgear and singlet while trading his gloves for a pair of lighter ones.

“This first fight’s going to be at 165 pounds, and I want to make a great first impression,” Puga said. “I have a pro style and I’m ready to figure out how tough the pros can be.”

Seeing the excitement in Salinas has brought a smile to Chargin’s face in the twilight of his career.

“The past year and a half has been tough since I lost my wife Lorraine,” said the Hall of Fame promoter known for his “war-a-week” persona. “It was tough even making the drive from Cambria to here. Even at our age, we’d get a kick out of going to fights, and it makes me miss her more. But I know she’d want me to keep doing this. I’ve been going nuts by myself around the house, so I had to get back and be more active in the game. It’s great to be back.”

By Ryan Maquiñana–42515