Mikey Garcia Makes History and Houses to Cement Legacy
From his quiet, unassuming demeanor, no one would expect Mikey Garcia to be dominant in the ring. But since the 30 year-old’s return to boxing in 2016 after two years, he’s been nothing short of brilliant. Ring rust, long believed to diminish a boxer’s sharpness, has apparently had the opposite effect on Garcia. His fight this past weekend against Sergey Lipinets only continued his hot streak.
A Showcase of Strong-Arm Tactics
In the lead-up to Saturday’s bout facing Lipinets, Garcia showed an insouciant attitude. That’s not to say Garcia didn’t take this fight seriously, but that he looked his usual calm self. In fact, his personality compliments his technical style, straightforward and restrained.
While many criticized Garcia for picking to fight Lipinets next—Vegas had Garcia as a wide 20:1 favorite over the former IBF Champion—it was a lot more competitive than anticipated. In fact, Lipinets managed to answer Garcia with evenly-matched blows throughout the fight. Although Lipinets opened himself up to Garcia’s right hand due to leaving his own left hand lowered, he was resilient as ever. Lipinets is certainly a persistent, come-forward fighter; the Garcia family just had a smarter game plan that nullified his pressure. Garcia respected Lipinet’s reputation as a puncher by employing his jab and keeping the fight within long-range.
Though Garcia managed to get some effective power punches in, he wisely never engaged Lipinets for too long inside. He instead bided his time and dictated the tempo of the fight. “I know I carry the power, but I am fighting a bigger man so they take a good punch,” said Garcia in the post-fight interview with Jim Gray. “There’s a few moments where I felt like I might have hurt him a little bit—just stunned him a little—but not enough for me to go after him, so I had to be very careful.” Garcia’s won over boxing fans with his fundamentals and ring control, both of which he displayed Saturday night.
More than a Fighter
Garcia’s victory over Lipinets on Saturday made him a world champion in his fourth weight class, placing him among fellow greats Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao. Make no mistake, it’s a family backed endeavor, one that Mikey acknowledged after the fight. “It just leaves a little chapter in boxing with my name, my brother, my dad. I think people will remember the Garcia family for ages to come.”
Even more than just a humble fighter, Garcia showed a charitable side to his character after the fight. In the post-fight interview, Gray mentioned that Garcia was hopping on a plane to Belize that night to build houses for the poor. Mikey Garcia not only showcased his excellent fighting in the ring, but proved he’s a person of excellence outside of it as well.