How Mikey Garcia Got His Start

Undefeated #1 lightweight contender Mikey Garcia of Oxnard, Calif. and his brother and trainer Robert Garcia. Photo Credit: Chris Farina

Before Mikey Garcia stopped Matt Remillard in the 10th round of his last fight on Boxing After Dark, HBO.com's Eric Raskin dubbed 2011 "Year of the Garcia" due to Mikey's potential in the ring and his brother Robert's emergence as a marquee trainer. With Mikey set to take on Rafael Guzman (substituting for the injured Miguel Beltran Jr.) on the Zbik-Chavez Jr. undercard, take a look back at how the youngest Garcia first got in the ring: 

Even though he was born into a boxing family, believe it or not, 10 years ago, Mikey had never seriously stepped into the ring. He was all set to be the un-Garcia-like Garcia, the one who didn't box. Then one day, when he was 13 years old, the kid who used to cry when his dad asked him to spar, who would get spanked by his father in the gym for refusing to enter the family business, suddenly changed his mind.

The whole family attended an amateur exhibition tournament, and one fighter on the card, who happened to be roughly Mikey's age and weight, needed an opponent.

"So Mikey said, 'I'll do it,'" Robert recalled. "We're like, 'What do you mean you'll do it, Mike? You don't even train.' And he's like, 'Let me give it a try, I want to try.' So he went in there and had that exhibition and did pretty good. Just from watching boxing all the time, watching his brothers spar, his nephews boxing, he knew how to box, he knew how to fight. So from his first time inside the ring, he looked like an experienced fighter. It was just, I guess, in his blood."

Read the rest of the story "Year of the Garcia" on HBO.com.