Robert Garcia: Josesito Lopez’s performance against Keith Thurman kept me out of the doghouse with my family

first_imgJoin DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearBut on Thursday night, Garcia had a change of heart. He told his brother Mikey Garcia, who is working more or less as Lopez’s manager, to book him a flight to New York. Garcia got his itinerary Friday morning for a flight that left LAX for New York on Friday night. His wife didn’t even know of the plan.“My wife and my daughter were a little bit upset that I took off to New York, but I had to be there,” Garcia told Sporting News on Monday. “Even though my dad was already there, and Dr. [Roger] Anderson would have been there, Josesito needed me there.”“Look at the way he fought,” Garcia pointed out. “When I showed up and he knew I was there, it makes the fighter more comfortable, get some more confidence, and the way he fought he was one punch away from becoming world champion.”It’s true. After being more or less outclassed for the first four or five rounds of the fight, Lopez came on strong in the middle rounds. In the seventh, Lopez landed a series of power shots that had Thurman in dire straights, barely able to hold on and make it out of the round and to his corner. Lopez came that close to becoming a world champion for the first time.But in the second round, it was Lopez who was in trouble, having been put on the canvas by a wicked counter left hook. Lopez made it to his feet and survived the scare, which helped keep Garcia out of the doghouse with his family.I asked Garcia when Lopez got dropped, what his reaction was.“Get up or else I’m dead at home!” Garcia laughed. “I missed my daughter’s fifteenth and you don’t perform? That would have been bad for me. But right away [after the fight] I got a text message from my wife saying we’re proud of you, it’s alright, no problem you’re not here with us. You’re with Josesito and you guys did a great job.”Garcia will corner three more world title fights over the next few months. He was set to be in Abner Mares’ corner against Gervonta Davis on Feb. 9, but Mares just pulled out with an arm injury. That will allow Garcia to focus 100 percent on training Jose Ramirez for his junior welterweight title defense against Jose Zepeda on Feb. 10 in Fresno. Garcia told Sporting News he had Ramirez choose Zepeda because he’s a southpaw.“When they told us about opponents, they gave us three different names. And I chose the left-hander because Abner is also fighting a left-hander, Jose is fighting a left-hander, and then Mikey is also fighting a left-hander,” Garcia told Sporting News just a few days before Mares had to pull out against Davis.“So that way I don’t have to change from one hour to the next and the way I’m working out. So I’m training everybody to fight lefties, which is the reason we chose Zepeda. The other names they gave us were solid guys, but I think Jose is probably the best out of them all. I chose him because he’s a lefty. That way I have sparring partners that are all lefty and it works out. Maybe I can even use the same sparring partners with each other. I already have. The ones that Jose is sparring, I’m already using with Mikey too. It works both ways.” Oftentimes when top trainers take on so many fighters, they end up shortchanging their guys. But Robert Garcia clearly has a system that is working for him and his fighters all seem to be pretty happy with the situation.“We’re doing a lot of similar sparring,” Jose Ramirez told Sporting News. “There’s one guy that’s coming in for Mikey that’s a little heavier. But I’m sparring two 140-pounders, Josue Vargas and John Bauza, and then Ruben Rodriguez and his brother Manny Rodriguez. Then I’m sparring another guy who is also an up-and-coming prospect. Right now it feels so good and my body feels really strong. If you ask Robert, it takes three or four guys to give me those 12 rounds sometimes.”Ramirez faces Zepeda on Feb. 10 in another hometown defense of his WBC title at 140 pounds and hopes for a unification before the year is over. It’s one of three more world title fights Robert Garcia will corner, with IBF minimumweight champion Carlos Licona defending on Feb. 16 against DeeJay Kriel, and of course Mikey’s big FOX pay-per-view showdown with Errol Spence Jr. If anyone is up for the challenge, it’s Robert Garcia. Robert Garcia has a lot on his plate over the next few months, and it began this past Saturday night with Josesito Lopez.Garcia wasn’t even supposed to be in Lopez’s corner for his fight against Keith Thurman. The top-level trainer was going to skip the fight because it was his daughter’s fifteenth birthday. For those that don’t know, in Mexican culture, the quinceañera is something you don’t mess with. It’s as big of a deal as anything, and Garcia was going to be the family man and stick it out while his fighter headed to Brooklyn for a huge opportunity.last_img

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