Feature Story

Mikey Garcia ready for Juanma test

By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Chris Farina / Top Rank

Undefeated WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) looks sharp and ready. Garcia held an open workout for fans and media Saturday afternoon at the UFC Gym in Yorba Linda, California as he prepared for his upcoming featherweight showdown against former WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs) on June 15 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas live on HBO.

“He has a lot of power a lot of heart it is definitely going to be a good fight, I think he is more determined and hungrier this time so that makes for an exciting fight,” Garcia told Fightnews.com.

Working alongside with his brother 2012 trainer of the year Robert Garcia and his father Eduardo Garcia has definitely been beneficial for Mikey Garcia. The father and trainer duo kept a watchful eye on the youngest of the Garcias as he began his workout loosening up by shadow boxing.

“We had a good hard camp, hard work my brother and my dad working with me every day I think we have done a really good job in camp,” Mikey Garcia told us.

His brother Robert Garcia talked with Fightnews.com on his preparation. “He is in great shape, the training, the camp, has been great with no setbacks. I think he will be in good shape for this fight.”

“The training with my dad, Mikey and my self is always intense and hard,” Robert Garcia added. “Styles make fights but that doesn’t mean that we will go in there for an easy fight with Lopez. Juanma Lopez is a dangerous fighter with power and experience. He was the best featherweight at one time so we better be ready for that. He knows that this might be his last opportunity so we might get the best Lopez.”

Fans were on hand and packed the UFC Gym to watch the WBO featherweight champion as he spared six solid rounds with junior welterweight southpaw Rashad Hughes. Garcia looked patient in his sparring session as he landed his punches short and crisp on the inside, ripping away to the body landing the left hook, following through with solid right hands rocking his sparring partners head.

“There has been some good sparring sessions overall for this camp, they have really helped me out,” Garcia said.

The workout was not over as the Garcias continued to entertain the fans who were in awe as Mikey was ripping away combinations while Robert Garcia held the punch mitts. Shortly after the workout fans had the opportunity to meet and greet, taking pictures and getting autographs from the champion Mikey Garcia. The treat was not over as fans and media were treated to a delicious Mexican meal of tacos, rice, and beans, all compliments of Mikey Garcia.

The 25-year-old Mikey will be making the first defense of his WBO featherweight title that he won last in his win over tough Mexican Orlando Salido. Team Garcia knows what is ahead of them in facing the former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez. When asked about his opponent Juan Manuel Lopez, Garcia shared his thoughts. “He has experience, heart and power in both hands he is dangerous and willing to leave everything in the ring so that’s what we have to watch out for.”

“You will see another good performance and show another side of my fight game now I think it is an opportunity to show a little extra than what you all have seen,” Garcia concluded.

Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla

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