By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia was highly critical of Terence Crawford this weekend in slamming him over his career resume while driving to build up his own credibility in explaining his rationale for wanting to challenge IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. for his title on March 16.
Mikey (39-0, 30 KOs) could have easily told the Boxing media that he wanted to challenge himself by going after Spence, but instead he threw Crawford under the bus while making his point. Mikey said that he picked out Spence (24-0, 21 KO) to challenge for his belt at 147 because he rates him as #1 in the division.
Instead of stopping right there, Mikey tore into Crawford, who had nothing to do with this discussion, and criticized him for picking Amir Khan as an opponent for his next fight on April 20, and blasting him for fighting Jose Benavidez last October.
“I think Errol Spence is #1, and that’s why I chose to go after him,” Mikey Garcia said to esnewsreporting. “If I want to establish myself as the best, then I’ve got to beat the best. That’s what I’ve done in every division I’ve been at. I’m doing what no one else is doing, because I want to establish myself as one of the best in my generation. They’re all good talented fighters and have been champions. Crawford has been champion in multiple divisions, but he doesn’t have the names behind him to back it up. When he’s fighting contenders and former champions, it’s good to have a certain name, but you can’t fool the people. Let’s be honest. Fighting [Amir] Khan is a good name, a good selling fight, but Khan hasn’t been champion since 2011. He’s been stopped several times, and he’s not in his prime. He’s definitely not in his prime. So, fighting guys like him or even the fight against [Jose] Benavidez that he had. It was a good fight. They built that really well, but not a current champion or a former interim champion at a lower weight class, and had a hurt leg. You can’t give him [Crawford] the credit. Terence Crawford is a terrific fighter, but without the names or the right opponents, you can’t be building that legacy. Well, I’m going after [the best]. I’m doing it. I’m not just saying I’m the best. I’m proving it to everybody,” Mikey Garcia said.
This is actually kind of funny how Mikey went off into left field in talking about Crawford when the subject was supposed to be on his upcoming fight with Errol Spence. You can just tell from listening to Mikey go off into his rant that he really wanted to get this off his chest in talking about Crawford. I don’t know. Maybe the Boxing fans have been giving Mikey grief for not picking Crawford as the guy he chose to fight for a world title instead of Spence. Mikey went into motormouth mode in using the spotlight on him this week to rip Crawford apart. It’ll be interesting to see if Crawford pays Mikey back when he’s being interviewed with the media the week of his fight against Khan next April.
Mikey talks about Crawford having a weak resume, but if you look at his resume, there’s no one truly talented on it other than Orlando Salido. He stands out way above the other guys that Mikey has fought. It’s hard to give Mikey credit for beating Salido, though, because the fight was stopped in the 8th round due to Mikey suffering a broken nose. Mikey’s trainer had the referee stop the fight. Mikey probably would have lost to Salido if not for it being stopped on the injury.
Here are the best fighters Mikey has fought during his career:
– Orlando Salido
– Juan Manuel Lopez: Arguably over the hill when Mikey fought him
– Roman Martinez
– Dejan Zlaticanin
– Robert Easter Jr.
– Sergey Lipinets
– Adrien Broner: On the downside of his career when Mikey fought him
– Juan Carlos Burgos: recently easily beaten by Devin Haney
– Jonathan Victor Barros
– Bernabe Concepcion
If you look at Mikey’s resume, it’s actually not that impressive. This isn’t a Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya or Floyd Mayweather Jr. type resume with tons of huge victories over quality fighters. The guys that Mikey beat were pretty flawed, and over the hill in some cases. Broner was a good fighter during the prime of his career at super featherweight, but he wasn’t the same guy he once was when he fought Mikey in 2017.
Lipinets is a good fighter, but was considered a guy that would have never won a world title if he had to fight someone like Regis Prograis, Jose Carlos Ramirez, Ivan Baranchyk, Josh Taylor or Maurice Hooker. Roman Martinez had already been beaten by Ricky Burns and held to a draw by Juan Carlos Burgos by the time he fought Mikey. Robert Easter Jr was a good lightweight, but he’s not considered to be in the class of Lomachenko, Jorge Linares or Teofimo Lopez. Zlaticanin was recently knocked out in the 2nd round by unheralded Roberto Ramirez (19-2-1, 13 KOs) last June. Ramirez, who will likely never win a world title, did a better job of knocking out Zlaticanin in the 2nd round than Mikey did in stopping him in the third round. Ramirez’s win over Zlaticanin took the shine off of Mikey’s victory over him. Juan Manuel Lopez was a good fighter during his prime, but he was no longer at his best when he lost to Mikey by a fourth round knockout in 2013. Earlier, Orlando Salido had knocked out Juanma Lopez by an 8th round knockout in 2011, and a 10th round knockout in 2012. The next year, Mikey knocked out Lopez in 2013. As such, you can arguably say that Mikey got Salido’s leftovers in facing Lopez after he’d been recently knocked out twice.
The rest of Mikey’s best wins, Burgos, Barros and Conception, was against guys that aren’t very talented, and were never huge names. They were just good basic fighters, but not super talents. Barros briefly held the WBA featherweight title in 2010 after beating Irving Berry, but quickly lost the belt to Celestino Caballero in 2011. This wasn’t the prime Caballero. This was a guy that was at the end of his prime, and yet he still defeated Barros. When you look at Mikey’s resume, there’s no there, there. The only name that stands out is Salido, as this writer mentioned, the fight ended just as things had turned for the worse for Garcia. The broken nose that Mikey suffered in the fight in the 8th round probably saved him from getting knocked out by Salido. the fight had changed hands completely by that point. Mikey’s trainer Robert Garcia was WISe enough to complain to the referee about his nose injury, because if he hadn’t done that, Salido likely would have worn him down completely and stopped him.
Here’s what an irritated Crawford said in response to Mikey on social media:
“I just need answers. If I fought twice and won a title at at 140LB before I won a title at 135LB, then fighting at 147LB, am I going up one or two weight classes because I’m confused? Lol🤣 Mikey Garcia, stop it. Don’t do that to yourself. We know about all the great fighters you fought. I’m just going to let you focus on yo fight. Just don’t quit like you did with [Orlando] Salido. I’ll be watching.😉 Go back in watch it [Mikey vs. Salido]. Yeah, he was Winning, but the fight was turning around real quickly,” Crawford said.
Crawford brings up a good point in talking about how Mikey appeared to quit after the eighth round in his fight against Orlando Salido in 2013. That was a fight where Mikey was doing really well in the first six rounds, but then got tired and started taking punishment from Salido to the head and body in the 7th and 8th. Mikey clearly looked in distress in both of those rounds. The fight was stopped after the 8th round when Mikey’s trainer Robert Garcia complained to the referee that he had a broken nose from a clash of heads. Salido was shocked at Mikey quitting because of a broken nose, because he revealed that he had a broken nose as well, and he wasn’t quitting. The fight had definitely turned compltely around after the sixth. Mikey looked exhausted from the pressure that Salido was putting on him, and things were no longer going well for him. It looked like Mikey was on his way to getting knocked out by Salido. With Mikey saying his nose was injured, the fight went to the scorecards, and he won an eighth round technical decision by the scores 79-69, 79-69 and 79-70. Unfortunately due to the fight being stopped because of Mikey’s broken nose, we’ll never know if he would have won the fight had it gone into championship rounds. The only we can say is Mikey looked nervous and exhausted at the time of the stoppage, and Salido was getting to him. That was a fight where Mikey arguably should have been penalized by the referee for him holding his left arm far out in front of him and using it to hold off Salido to keep him from getting near him to throw his body shots. Salido looked disgusted at the way Mikey was getting away with holding his left arm out in front of him and using it to push him to keep from getting in close to throw his shots. In Boxing, fighters aren’t supposed to be able to do that. The referee are supposed to warn fighters that use there reach to put there glove on their opponents’ head to keep them from getting near enough to throw their punches. In this case, Mikey got away with that tactic during the Salido fight to keep him from getting near him. Fighters are expected to defend against pressure fighters by moving, blocking shots and being busy with their shots. They’re not supposed to hold their arms out in front of them to keep a shorter from getting close. When Mikey stopped holding his left out in front of him in the seventh and eighth rounds, that’s when Salido started to get to him to land his shots, and almost immediately, Mikey started wearing down from the effects.
A year later, Salido defeated Vasyl Lomachenko in beating him by a 12 round decision in 2014. Lomachenkos struggled from the pressure that was put on him by Salido, but he didn’t quit by complaining of an injury. In 2015 and 2016, Salido was involved n three consecutive controversial fights against Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez [x 2] and Francisco Vargas in which he appeared to win all three of them, but the judges failed to give him the victories. Salido lost to Martinez by a very questionable decision in 2015 in a fight that took place in Puerto Rico. In their rematch, the judges scored it a 12 round draw. Salido appeared to win the fight handily in the eyes of a lot of Boxing fans.