Mikey Garcia wants to prove he can win a world title at welterweight and become a five-division champion. Currently, he is preparing to face Jessie Vargas at welterweight at The Star in Frisco, Texas on Saturday February 29th, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK. Garcia (39-1 30 KOs) has stayed at 147 pounds to meet Vargas (29-2-2 11 KOs) following Garcia's loss to IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence in March, stepping up two weights following his win over Robert Easter Jr in a lightweight unification clash in Los Angeles in July 2018. The 32 year-old returns to action just under a year since his meeting with Spence, and has chosen to remain at 147lbs to meet former WBO welterweight ruler Vargas, who himself is looking to return to the world title level.
Garcia understands that fans and media alike are curious to see him remain at welterweight and not go back down to 140 or 135 pounds – and the man himself says that he will shine on the first night of the latest phase of his glittering career. “I think that there’s a lot more that I can do at 147,” said Garcia. “The Spence fight was not a representation of that, it wasn’t my night and not the fight that I wanted to fight, I just couldn’t perform and once in a while you have an off night and it happened to be that night for me. I need to show my fans and the boxing world that I can do a lot more, even at 147.
“A world title in a fifth division is very exciting. I would love to fight for a title again at 147 pounds, claiming a world title in a fifth division would be amazing and that’s why I am staying at 147, but there are other motivations for me in the sport, I’m not done, there’s a lot more to accomplish. After this fight I’ll look at options at 147 and 140. I’m not stuck at either weight, I’m keeping my options open.
“I have a lot of legacy to build still, I want to create a bigger legacy for myself and for my family. I’m not done. I still feel I have a lot more to accomplish and I know I will. I’m in the prime of my career right now. There’s no looking back or stopping me right now.
“I consider this the third stage of my career because I am coming off a loss. Can I come back stronger and better than before or am I done? Past my prime? That’s why I’m here to prove it to everyone that I’m not any less than what you saw in previous years, in fact, I am only getting better. I’m not declining at all; I’m fast, strong and talented, and I consider this next part to be the best years of my career.”
Garcia’s clash with Vargas is part of a stellar night of action in Frisco, with the longest reigning British world title holder Kal Yafai (26-015 KOs) puts his WBA World Super-Flyweight title on the line against the former four-weight ruler Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (48-2 40 KOs) and Julio Cesar Martinez (15-1 12 KOs) makes the first defense of his WBC flyweight title against European champion Jay Harris (17-0 9 KOs)
Murat Gassiev (26-1 19 KOs) will make his long-awaited heavyweight debut against Jerry Forrest (26-3 20 KOs), Israil Madrimov sees junior middleweight action in an official eliminator for the #2 position in the WBA against Venezuelan Charlie Navarro (29-9 22 KOs).