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Mikey Garcia needs some adjustment to fight top southpaw contenders

Image: Mikey Garcia needs some adjustment to fight top southpaw contenders

By Matthias Predonzan: Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia is now definitely back on track to become a top list – lb for lb- fighter, after the brilliant performance he put together in his fight against the Montenegrin puncher Dejan Zlaticanin.

If on one side Mikey’s brother Robert was right, saying that the new Lightweight World Champion was stronger and faster than ever in the new weight class and the two and half years long forced inactivity were not a problem – because Mikey actually never stopped training and sparring – on the other hand it is hard to completely agree with these statements because the level of his opponent was not at elite one.

Mikey needs now a win over a big name to establish himself on the top of boxing.

Two names that are tossed around, as possible contenders, are the WBO World Super featherweight champ Vasyl Lomachenko and the WBO World Super Lightweight champ Terence Crawford.

Also the name of Manny Pacquiao circulated after Mikey’s big win over Zlaticanin.

The three fighters mentioned above have in common a southpaw stand (Crawford is technically an orthodox-stand fighter but can fight equally well in the southpaw stand) and I was not really impressed from Mikey’s ability to fight against the southpaw Zlaticanin.

Do not get me wrong: I’m a big fan of Mikey and he completely dominated Zlaticanin, who couldn’t do anything against him but I think the Mexican-American boxer needs to improve, especially his foot position.

Watching the fight from the camera perspective it is not always possible to see the fighters’ feet-position.

Unfortunately the camera, often, in order to show a closer view of the fighters, cuts off their feet but in all the opportunities I had to see the two boxers’ feet-position, I always saw Zlaticanin to be able to impose his control over Mikey’s front foot, putting his foot out of Mikey’s one.

The reason why, when an orthodox fighter and a southpaw one meet, both want to put their front foot outside of their opponent’s one, is because this action prevents or makes more difficult for the contender to circulate on the left- for the conventional-stand fighter – and on the right – for the southpaw one, in order to avoid impacts from the strong hand of the contender.

Now, Mikey was able to circulate on his left, every time Zlaticanin was attacking him but in order to do that he had to overstep Dejan’s right foot.

Mikey’s balance was not perfect at that time and this was quite clear at min 2:20 of the first round.

This could be particularly dangerous, because stepping on his contender’s foot can make him to lower his left guard in order to regain the balance, leaving him open to a right cross.

Against taller, more experienced and talented boxers like Lomachenko, Crawford or Manny Pacquiao, in my opinion Mikey Garcia will have quite a few problems to elude their attacks, if he will not be able to improve this technical aspect.

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