For Mikey Garcia, Saturday night's showdown with former two-division titlist Juan Manuel Lopez is the first fight of the rest of his career. Up until now he was the aspiring pursuer bent on toppling the best but now he is the pursued target of all who oppose him. Beating him means making history while for Garcia his aim is merely keeping what he already has.
For Lopez, the Garcia fight is his ticket back to prominence. At age 29 he is no longer the fresh-faced bomber who appeared on pound-for-pound lists but a twice-beaten battler who either gets his man or gets "got." A loss here would force him to ask questions of himself he'd rather not tackle while a victory means at least one more big payday -- if not more.
Several statistical factors could determine the identity of winner and loser.