Mikey Garcia still intends to revisit a showdown with Regis Prograis.
Fans hoped for that fight to headline this weekend’s show on DAZN, though the timing and allotted budget didn’t allow for the clash of former titlists. Instead, Garcia will face Spain’s Sandor Martin, with the intention of securing a win and hoping to pick up where he left off in talks for the fight that even the former four-division titlist preferred all along.
“The idea I had in talking with Eddie and the team was to get through this fight, get this done and push for a fight with Regis,” Garcia told BoxingScene,com. “That’s the same idea we had as a team. We’re still going to push for that fight. However, if there is an opportunity to fight for a world title, we are going to take that opportunity and jump on that.
“But the idea is to get back to conversation, in talks with Team Prograis and secure that fight.”
This weekend will mark the first ring appearance for Garcia (40-1, 30KOs) since a twelve-round, unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas last February, right before the pandemic wreaked havoc around the world. Garcia—a former featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight titlist from Oxnard, California—explored several opportunities during that time, only for none to materialize.
The new year saw Garcia deep into negotiations for a superfight with Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39KOs), only for that fight to fall apart due to extreme dysfunction among the many people claiming to represent the legendary and now retired former eight-division champion. From there, Garcia resumed his working relationship with promoter Eddie Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing who promoted his fight with Vargas and who sought to put together an intriguing clash with Prograis (26-1, 22KOs).
As time marched on, it became apparent that such a clash would have to wait until 2022. With Garcia eager to return to the ring, Hearn secured the services of Martin (38-2, 13KOs), an obscure southpaw from Barcelona who makes his U.S. debut this weekend. It’s not the left-handed fighter that Garcia had in mind, though still means to keep him active while keeping hope alive for such a fight down the road.
“I was very excited to get the Regis Prograis fight. That’s the fight that we were pushing for, for several months,” notes Garcia. “Unfortunately, the scheduling, the timing and the budget was not available to promote it and put a fight of that kind together and promote it in the short amount of time we had for this fight. It just didn’t make sense. It didn’t happen.
“I also wanted the Regis Prograis fight more than anyone else. Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox