Mikey Garcia suffered one of the biggest upset losses in boxing on Oct. 16 when he dropped a majority decision loss to little-known Spaniard fighter Sandor Martin.
Days after the defeat, Garcia (40-2, 30 KOs) is largely unbothered by the blemish and is maintaining a positive attitude.
"It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of my career," Garcia told ESNews. "People might think a loss is such a big deal, and going into depression. No, I'm not. I'm jumping right back in it. I'm not worried about it ... [A loss] is nothing. It's part of boxing. It happens. People take losses in other areas in life. You can't let a loss keep you down. Get the f--- up. Move on. Leave it behind you. Go forward. You can't be dwelling on the past. You get all depressed and sh!t. You have to keep moving forward to what's next. That's how I see it. It's part of the sport. No big deal. It's not the first time I lost. I lost 12 times as an amateur. Who gives a f---? Does anybody talk about that? Who cares? Move on."
The sluggish Garcia fumbled the fight against Martin in Fresno, California by landing just 19% of his total punches. Martin (39-2, 13 KOs) outlanded Garcia 75 to 60 in the ten-round fight. Two judges had Garcia losing 93-97 while the other had it 95-95.
The 33-year-old Garcia was fighting for the first time since February 2020 when he beat Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision. It was his second loss in his last three fights, with the other defeat coming in a one-sided decision loss to Errol Spence Jr. in 2019.
The 20-month layoff was the second-longest of Garcia’s 15-year career. From January 2014 to July 2016, the former four-division champion was on the sidelines due to a contractual spat with then-promoter Top Rank.
As Garcia reflected, he compared the 2 ½ year layoff to his recent loss, and that it will serve as inspiration and fuel moving forward.
“Coming back I was hungrier than before [the contract issues]. It's weird how things happen,” said Garcia. "[The Martin loss] is actually more motivating now. I feel a little bit more fire than before.
"My perspective is different. Boxing has changed a little bit where people think you're done after one loss. All the great fighters eventually take losses.
“As long as I'm healthy and I'm not absorbing any punishment and having physical trouble or able to live life and enjoy, that's different. Of course, nobody likes to lose. But you have to accept it. It's part of life.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com