Although Mikey Garcia was stripped of his world title for not making weight, he certainly put on a show with an excellent display over Juan Manuel Lopez
It could be fair to say that last night Mikey Garcia had a bit of an unfair advantage due to the debacle that ensued on Friday’s weigh in. Garcia came in two pounds over the featherweight limit to weigh in at 128lbs while his opponent Juan Manuel Lopez weighed in at a ready 125.5lbs. After watching the fight I think this added weight certainly played a factor in Garcia being the much stronger fighter but having said that it was still an excellent boxing display from him.
Straight away right from the get go it was evident that Garcia’s jab was going to be a key component in breaking Lopez down. It looked to me that Garcia knew that he had to keep the fight at range and any chance Lopez might have in landing a big punch would realistically only come if he managed to get inside on Garcia. Mikey simply didn’t let this happen and stuck to a great game plan of keeping Lopez at Bay with the jab.
Right in the first round the work Garcia was doing with the jab marked up Lopez who already bore bruising under his eye. In the second round Mikey dropped Lopez for the first time would a vicous right hand and at this point the writing was on the wall for Lopez I felt. He was just in with a much classier and much stronger operator in Garcia. Garica’s dominance continued in the third and was consistently beating Lopez to the punch. The finishing blow came in the 4th when Garcia hurt Lopez with a short chopping right hand that looked to land on the temple of Lopez who was badly wobbled and Garica followed up with a thunderous left hook which closed the show.
A very dominant performance by Garcia who easily won all four rounds on route to the KO victory. The main question I think that will be raised coming out of this though is one of weight I feel. Garcia clearly had an edge in strength due to his weight advantage. Sure he got stripped of his belt but is there an argument that boxing should return to the old days where fighters weighed in on the day of the fight? Same day weigh in’s could be a lot better in terms of fairness and more importantly a fighter’s health. It seems it is now common place for fighters to absolutely kill themselves to get down to a certain weight just so they can re hydrate the next day to in some cases up to 20lbs which they might perceive to be an advantage, when in reality it often turns out to be a disadvantage and can lead to terrible stamina problems. Also the long term of effects on a fighter’s health of doing this can’t be good. I’m all for returning to same day weigh in’s anyway.
As for Mikey Garcia he said after the fight that he would like to stay at featherweight and feels he is the world champion at the weight. When in reality I think although he might feel he can still make the weight he clearly showed that it is a severe task for him. More than likely I think we’ll see him moving up to super featherweight next time out, with a potential world title showdown against Roman Martinez being muted as a very exciting match up.
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