Miguel Angel Garcia—Matador in Manhattan
Like the great Mexican matador Alejandro Amaya, Garcia will need to keep the bull in Orlando Salido coming at his, Garcia’s terms…
“Schmidty, there is a huge difference between that fighter, five to ten rank, to the step up and take the belt from a legitimate Champion. It takes a special kind of fighter/athlete to bridge that last gap and win a Championship.”—Russ Anber
On January 19, 2013, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, “Mikey” Garcia takes that walk across the bridge against top of his class tough guy Champion Orlando Salido. Expect fireworks, my oh my, expect fireworks!! NONE BUT THE BRAVE, mentally and physically, get to this level. THE FIRST DEADLY SIN, the first big error, may CAST A GIANT SHADOW over one of these primed warriors. We shall see if Garcia is indeed Angel or Sinner. Will he have what he has shown to date? Garcia, with a seasoned approach to methodically break an opponent apart, and then down, against a fighter in Champion Salido that will test his mental make-up and willpower to stay disciplined. Matador in Manhattan, perhaps.
Over on 111 West 44th Street the reviews point to full out action. “Plenty of punches are thrown in this forceful new revival but the blows that truly stun are the ones we cannot literally see, the jabs to the soul.”—Isherwood, New York Times. “Gorgeous, gritty, heart-rending, jaunty and altogether splendid.”—Cote, Time Out NY. That is thespian action, being the original “Golden Boy” way of live theater remake of that great black and white movie starring William Holden. Yes, you could still make lovely music with a violin while maintaining that basic of intent to often want to belt somebody in the kisser, for dinero nonetheless!! But that’s acting and there will be no violins playing a few blocks over by way of Top Rank live, in The Theater and no play acting. THE PRIDE AND THE PASSION of pugilism at its best: Garcia vs. Salido. I could not tell you how much I am looking forward to this boxing match, this fight, to see the KINGS GO FORTH.
MIGUEL ANGEL GARCIA
The YOUNG AT HEART 25-year-old Garcia is boxing mature beyond his years. A six-year pro with a record of 30 wins (26 by KO) and no losses, Garcia is the owner of the USBA, WBO, NABO and NABF belts. As such he comes to this fight NOT AS A STRANGER but rather with a wealth of boxing building block pedigree. COME BLOW YOUR HORN Mikey Garcia. I think not although this is the time to shine. Garcia was an amateur standout having won the National Junior Golden Gloves and National PAL Championship. He also holds an amateur win over Danny Garcia. That is amateur boxing and perhaps more building block telling is the fact that Garcia through his mid-teens forward has sparred with the likes of Israel Vazquez, Ponce de Leon, Edwin Valero (who Garcia reserves the honor of being the hardest puncher he has worked along with), Manny Pacquiao (going eight straight round sessions when Manny was at 130 lbs. preparing for Morales), and more recently Bam Bam Rios.
Garcia, a Ventura County Police Academy graduate, is a precision puncher who brings non-Angel like devilish DOUBLE DYNAMITE from both the right and left hand. He is not THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, but rather two! He will start this fight, as he always does, with a set up puncher stance, but with balance to move. The Machine—La Maquina. Hands held proper boxing text book high, ready to throw or parry, Garcia exudes patience. He breaks opponents down, round to round, with a mental fortitude to do so while boxing “smart.” No barroom brawler type this one and very hard to pressure him into that type of engagement. No, this is boxing, the sweet science, and one is left with the impression that Garcia would wait FROM HERE TO ETERNITY in applying his disciplined but crowd-pleasing approach on an opponent. It does not, of course, take that long, as SUDDENLY Garcia ups tempo, having broken his man down, and brings his full arsenal. And that brings us to Champion Salido who looks to break that Garcia discipline and engage on his own terms.
What is not to admire in this 39 wins, 11 losses, 2 draws warrior? Much like Garcia, no HIGH SOCIETY boxing silver spoon here although a different road to glory taken. The 32-year-old Salido started his punch for pay journey at age 15. While five of Salido’s losses come by way of knockout they came in his teen years and in this boxing day and age of one loss is critical it perhaps tells a great deal of his mental make-up, tough, obstinate, never break down, never give up, that he enters as a BoxRec number one Champion to this engagement. Given his record it would be understandable that SOME CAME RUNNING early to take up an offer to fight Salido but that has changed dramatically the past few years as the red hot Salido has stopped Juan Manuel Lopez twice. With a total of 27 knockouts to his credit, few have enjoyed THE MIRACLE OF THE BELLS, the final bell that is, against Salido. There is also included in the Salido resume a No Decision against tough as nails Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. Two of three scorecards show Salido winning by a solid margin. A test positive steroid for Salido rendered the ND (a highly controversial test positive at the time in terms of its reliability).
Like the great Mexican matador Alejandro Amaya, Garcia will need to keep the bull in Salido coming at his, Garcia’s terms. Garcia’s jab, which unlike many fighters of today who neither throw it, nor if they do, has hurt on the end of it, comes double, sometimes triple trouble. He is capable of controlling this fight early. His is the much greater versatile attack and if he wants to go out ON THE TOWN after this fight and have the entire Garcia clan, Papa and older brother-trainer of the year Robert chirp this is OUR TOWN, he is best served playing punishing Matador by jabbing, stabbing, patiently attacking on openings that Salido will leave after he attacks, and ever so slightly stepping side to side. Garcia has excellent spacing and the ability to counterpunch opponents off balance. Salido will wait for his moments to bull-rush in with that big looping overhand right that usually is followed by a big left hook to the body, left up the middle. For Salido there will come a time, sooner rather than later, that he will need to make this fight like it HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN, that is to say, Brooklyn back alley, back street way. We will not, as always, be able to possibly describe in true fashion the start, the finish, the internal reality, physically and mentally, of the blows that will be dealt as one glorious gladiator destroys the illusion of future grandeur of the other. One will be left standing and planning bigger items to an immediate future while the other, yes the other…
This is one of those fights that may turn into a Theater classic with a late round give-and-take war of attrition. THE JOKER IS WILD in the sense that both Garcia and Salido have the ability at this mutual natural weight and strength to hurt each other down the stretch. To the winner, SHIP AHOY, as they put themselves in position to fight some big names (Donaire, Gamboa etc.) in a MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS for one of those neon electric LAS VEGAS NIGHTS or back to the Mecca of Boxing for a bigger bight of the Big Apple. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT, Top Rank style.
What a great night of fights. In another act Gennady Golovkin, with the clock, Sergio time, to his advantage, is back in action. Golovkin’s punches are akin to a stone carver (yes, he hit that hard in the amateurs as well; take a look at him bouncing Lucian Bute to the canvas). In the main act Roman Martinez takes on tough Juan Carlos Burgos for the Super Featherweight Championship…
In between acts take a look at young Top Rank protégé Mikael Zewski who is lightning quick and is on an eight-fight knockout streak as he comes back to the Big Apple once again. Zewski came out in his last fight against 20-2 Cesar Chavez and promptly, the bell ring of the first round hardly having stopped its resonating 37 seconds in, scored a knockout with a sizzling right uppercut. Speed, ample power and a mean edge—one to watch.
Loyalty is a premium hard to find trait in this day and age of kiss ass make a buck one way or the other environment of many and in that context a Happy New Year over in Europe to a longtime close friend and mentor who most certainly is polar opposite to that approach (although I would not want to be on the wrong end of the business table with him) who happens to be a HUGE SINATRA FAN. To you I offer up to this article 23 of the one and only Chairman of the Board’s movie discography. Enjoy St. Moritz—I am going, as you know, ringside, New York, New York, to the fights! Turn on your HBO. One hell of a night……