By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Joel Colon/PR Best
Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) was impressive in his stoppage over Juan Manuel Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs) on Saturday night on HBO’s Boxing After Dark from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. “Fans came to see a fight I gave the fans a good fight and a spectacular victory. It was a good night for me,” Mikey Garcia told media at the post-fight press conference. “It’s a good victory this shows that I have what it takes. This is a good satisfying victory. We have to go forward there is a lot more to accomplish.”
Testing each other out in the opening round Mikey Garcia boxed from the outside using his jab while Lopez searched for openings countering. “We worked all of camp to jab, step back, and right hand. We practiced hard and executed,” Mikey said. “We tried to be extra careful. He does have heavy hands. I was able to land my jab and stay outside comfortably so I was ready to keep that pace.”
Garcia caught Lopez with a left hook in round two. Moments later a right cross by Mikey Garcia sat Juanms on the canvas. “I utilized my jab and I followed with my right hand,” Garcia said on the first knockdown.
The left hook found its mark again in round four and Garcia knocked Lopez down again. Lopez was up on his feet but appeared to be out as referee Rafael Ramos waved off the contest. “I thought the fight was going to go longer, we got the win but lost the title at the scale,” Garcia said.
With the win Mikey Garcia improves to 32-0, 27KOs. Juan Manuel Lopez was not available after the fight as he goes to 33-3, 30KOs.
Team Garcia will more likely move up to junior lightweight and fight for a world title as Mikey Garcia came in two pounds over the featherweight limit at 128 and was stripped of his WBO title.
“We don’t want to make excuses on making weight. He knows he can make the weight, last week he went four days without training. He was ill with a slight fever. Making the weight was difficult,” Mikey Garcia’s trainer/brother Robert Garcia told the media.
“Fighters always get ill trying to make weight but we won’t mention it. It affected me making weight,” Garcia explained.
Another alternative for Mikey is to remain campaigning at featherweight in attempt to regain his WBO title he lost at the scale. Garcia also mentioned a move up to 130 campaigning at both weight classes. There is talk about a potential bout with WBO junior lightweight champion Rocky Martinez who was in attendance at ringside Saturday night.
“I can fight here and regain my world title. I want to move up to 130 but I really want to come back to 126,” Garcia told Fightnews.com “I had always wanted to fight at 130 and 126 to defend both titles. I may move up to 130 and win a title. We mentioned Rocky Martinez because it’s a fight that the promoter and HBO are interested in so I might fight him in my next fight.”
Juan Manuel Lopez was not available after the fight.
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