By: Sean Crose
It appears former multi-divisional titlist Mikey Garcia has packed it in and called it a career. Although no public announcement has been made, Garcia’s own Instagram page refers to the 40-2 fighter as a “Retired World Champ 126, 130, 135, 140 lbs”. Garcia has never been a bombastic type, so it’s easy to see the 34 year old announcing his retirement in such an under the radar manner. Assuming the popular Garcia is indeed retired, there’s little doubt he’s had one of the more impressive ring careers in recent memory. Disciplined and self-determined, Garcia has been a serious man in a sport that often celebrates sophomoric behavior.
Garcia won his first world title – the WBO featherweight strap – when he soundly bested the rugged Orlando Salido in January of 2013. In November of that same year, the native Californian moved up to junior lightweight and won the WBO world title by an eighth round knockout of Roman Martinez. Legal conflicts with Top Rank Promotions led Garcia to stay out of the ring for over two years, from 2014 to 2016. Upon his return, Garcia knocked out Elio Rojas in five, then won the WBC world lightweight title in 2017 by knocking out defending champion Dejan Zlaticanin in three.
In 2017, Garcia met the biggest name opponent in his career to date, Adrien “The Problem” Broner. Garcia put on what he considered one of his premier performances by outslicking his colorful foe and earning a unanimous decision victory. The following year, Garcia won the IBF junior welterweight title via decision against Sergey Lipinets, then successfully decisioned the talented Robert Easter four months later for the WBC and IBF lightweight titles. The next year Garcia dared to be great by facing welterweight kingpin Errol Spence for Spence’s IBF belt.
It proved to be a bridge to far, as Spence easily handled Garcia en route to a unanimous decision victory. Coming back from his first defeat, Garcia decisioned former titlist Jessie Vargas the following year in a welterweight battle. It would prove to be Garcia’s last victory, as the largely unknown Sandor Martin was able to best him by majority decision in October of 2021. And now Garcia, boxing’s quiet man, has declared himself retired. If the passion is gone, he’s wise to have stepped away. Garcia has always been a deliberate man – and thinking of the future is always a keen practice. Here’s hoping he enjoys a long and fruitful life outside the ring.