According to a report on Thursday afternoon by BoxingScene.com’s Steve Kim, elite trainer Robert Garcia hopes to see his undefeated younger brother, Mikey, return to the ring in the first half of 2016.
It will be welcome news to serious boxing fans if he does. The younger Garcia brother has been out of action for over two years, since January 2014, but before that extended break, he won world titles in two-divisions and compiled a record of 34-0 with 28 KOs. Garcia’s last fight took place shortly after his 26th birthday, and at the time, he appeared to be making a legitimate push toward top-10, pound-for-pound status. He is an intelligent boxer-puncher who
Mikey Garcia’s extended break was largely the result of a contracted legal battle with his promoter, Top Rank. Speaking in BoxingScene today, Robert Garcia stated that the problems with the promotion “definitely hurts us, myself, my dad.” However, he added that “to be honest, I think Mikey wanted this time off.”
Referring to his brother’s prodigy-like development in the brutal Sweet Science, the elder Garcia noted that his brother had been making up a bit for lost time: “He did so many things he never did when he was younger, he loves other stuff. The last two years, he did everything he wanted to do.”
Despite his tremendous gifts, Garcia has always struck me somewhat as a case of a guy who carried on the family business, simply because it was so profitable. I’ve only ever interviewed him once, but the one thing he told me that has always stuck out is the fact that he said he never viewed professional boxing as a likely path for him growing up, despite the fact that older brother Robert had won a world title and Mikey was himself a burgeoning amateur talent.
Even a close reading of Garcia’s comments in BoxingScene leave room for doubt, as the trainer said “if he comes back” not “when.”
But “if” Mikey Garcia comes back, expect him to be prepared to excel again. He does not strike me as the sort of thoughtful assassin who will show up for battle with dull weapons.