Mikey Garcia, a former four-division champion, is stepping away from boxing at the age of 34.
Garcia, who finishes his career with a record of 40-2 against 30 knockouts, made the news relatively inconspicuously on his Instagram page, in which he changed his profile to read “Retired World Champ 126, 130, 135, 140 lbs.”
His older brother, the veteran trainer and former boxer Robert Garcia, confirmed the news with various news outlets in the past few days.
“It’s time for him to enjoy his kids, his family, his loved ones,” Garcia told FightHubTV. “I think he made the right decision. When a fighter doesn’t want it, doesn’t have the hunger, we’re not going to go in there and risk [our lives].”
A Southern California native who turned professional in 2006, Garcia amassed titles at 126 pounds, 130, 135, and 140. A fifth title at 147, however, always eluded him. In 2019, he came up short against welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., who won a dominant unanimous decision in their pay-per-view clash at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The retirement follows on the heels of a low point in Garcia’s career. In his last fight, Garcia shockingly lost to unheralded Spaniard Sandor Martin in their 10-round welterweight contest in October, the headline fight at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California. Sandor upset the heavily favored Garcia with a majority decision.
In his prime, however, Garcia, who was born in Ventura, California, and now resides in Riverside, was often considered as one of the top boxers in the world. A quintessential boxer-puncher, the highly skilled Garcia combined punching power with dexterity, a combination that often proved difficult for the majority of his opponents to overcome.
As talented as he was in the ring, Garcia had to battle the perception in some circles that he was not passionate about boxing and as committed to his craft. In 2014, Garcia was famously involved in a protracted legal battle with former promoter Top Rank that halted his career for a number of years at the height of his prime.
After the lawsuit was settled, Garcia fought under the Premier Boxing Champions banner, the company created his influential advisor Al Haymon, defeating top 140-pounders in Adrien Broner and Sergey Lipinets, and Robert Easter Jr., before turning his attention to Spence. Garcia’s last two fights – Martin and Jessie Vargas – were promoted by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing.
Garcia comes from a fighting family. His father, Eduardo, was an amateur boxer who later became the head trainer of Fernando Vargas. His brother, Robert, was a champion at junior lightweight in the 1990s, and is now considered one of the best trainers in the world; Robert Garcia currently trains former heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua and 22-year-old 115-pound titlist Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez.
A request for comment from Mikey Garcia went answered.