Middleweight is a no-man’s land right now. The best fighter in the division in terms of world titles, and accolades is 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin, who might not fight again. The rest of the division, like most divisions in boxing, don’t fight all that much, and the division as a whole feels like one that is waiting for the next guy to step-up and become a capital G guy of the division.
Meet Elijah Garcia, a 19-year-old middleweight, who just stopped veteran undefeated middleweight contender Amilcar Vidal, Jr. with a slew of punches at 2:17 of the fourth round. More impressively was Garcia’s ability to effectively use distance and show his amateur pedigree, but also respond to adversity as Garcia was undeterred by blood flowing from his nose in the early moments of the rounds.
“This is what everyone dreams of, so this isn’t a surprise,” said Garcia. “This is what I worked for since I turned pro so we’re going to keep moving forward one step at a time,”
When looking at CompuBox stats for the fight, Garcia landed 189 punches landed out of 593 punches thrown over the course of three-and-a-half rounds. Now add to the fact that Garcia landed 62% of his power punches and you are looking at a high-output fighter who is capable of thinking and beating a much bigger man.
“I stay ready and mentally I’m strong,” Garcia furthered. “I know mentally I might have lost the first couple of rounds, but I was breaking him down. He started backing up. He’s a great opponent. No disrespect to him. I caught him and I finished him. I’m not sure what I hurt him with, but I know I hurt him and for me being 19 I have the maturity to tell if they’re hurt or not.”
Garcia after the fight made it clear he is looking to land a WBC middleweight world title sometime soon, even asking if he was now ranked within the top ten of the division after the fight. Prior to the fight, Garcia stated he’d like to be a world champion by 21 years old.
“I might become a champion before I’m 21 or 22,” Garcia said. “I might be ahead of schedule.”