Photos: Joel Colon / WBO
With the presence of some Puerto Rican world champions and former world champions, Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia, received today the World Boxing Organization (WBO) belt he won with his win over Orlando “Siri” Salido on January 19 in New York. WBO junior lightweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez, and former world champions Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez, Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. among others were at the Restaurante El Zipperle, with WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, to give Garcia the 126 pounds belt. “We gave the belt to Garcia, one of the best young champions and an example to the youth. We are proud to have Mikey Garcia as our champion. This (Garcia) is the man who beat the man, he (Garcia) beat Orlando Salido, who beat Juanma Lopez, who beat Daniel Ponce de Leon and Steven Luevano.”
Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs), who was together with his father and trainer Eduardo Garcia, said that he feel so good to be in Puerto Rico again. Garcia fought in the island last year when he knocked out Bernabe Concepcion.
“I’m very happy to be in Puerto Rico, a great place and I feel so grateful for this event. Garcia said. “This (the WBO) is a great entity, one of the best now and I’m very proud to be a world champion and to receive my belt today in Puerto Rico with all these people here.”
Carl Moretti, Top Rank Vice-President, who was in the activity representing this company, said that “Garcia is one of the best young fighter and we expect great things in the future.”
Besides Juanma Lopez, Iron Boy Calderon and Vazquez Jr., there were former world champion as Alex “El Nene” Sanchez and Rafael del Valle, world contenderes Jose “Chelo” Gonzalez, Jorge “Destroyer” Melendez, Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez, McWilliams Arroyo, McJoe Arroyo, Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez, Victor Bisbal, and prospects Felix “Diamante” Verdejo, Josean Serra, Emmanuel de Jesus y Jose Torres. Also trainers Felix Pagan Pintor, Orlando Pinero, Margaro Cruz, Alan Sola, Ricky Marquez, Andres Ortiz and Anthony Otero.
Referees Luis Pabon, Roberto Ramirez Jr., Melba Santos, Jose H. Rivera and Genaro “Gino” Rodriguez, and judges Cesar Ramos, Luis Ruiz, Nelson Vazquez, Jose Roberto Torres, Carlos Colon y Luis Gomez atended the event.
From the WBO there were former president and Championship Comittee president Luis Batista Salas, Treasurer Adolflo Flores Monge, Administrative Advisor Manuel Marrero Hueca, and Legal Advisor Andres Salas Soler participated of the activity.