When Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia challenges reigning WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido this Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York, it could mark the culmination of what has seemed inevitable.
Considered one of boxing’s brightest prospects and contenders, Garcia (30-0, 26 KO) becoming a world champion has always been more a matter of “when” than “if.”
Trained by older brother Robert Garcia—a former IBF super featherweight champion—Mikey has boxing in his blood, a fact that RingTV.com’s Ryan Songalia succinctly chronicles. With solid backing and an abundance of natural ability, Garcia appears poised to wrest Salido’s title in what should be a thrilling and competitive fight.
Garcia is both powerful and skilled, but his poise might be his defining attribute. In Salido (39-11-2, 27 KO), Garcia will face—by far—his sternest challenge as a professional. Whether Garcia can cope with Salido’s experience and relentless pressure will reveal much about the 25-year-old Oxnard product.
Regardless of the outcome, Salido will push Garcia and force him to fight. Contrary to what he has experienced thus far, Garcia might not be able to comfortably control tempo against Salido. That said, Garcia’s speed and technical prowess perhaps give him a slight overall edge.
Exploiting the gaps in Salido’s power-punching pressure will be essential for Garcia to win. While Salido-Garcia essentially remains a “pick ‘em” fight, let’s examine the reasons to favor Garcia in this tantalizing bout.