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Monday, 11 April 2016

Holland's Johnny Garcia to fight Saturday in Grand Rapids

Johnny Garcia began preparations for his next fight mere minutes after his last fight ended.

It was a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Fla, however, that suggested to Garcia that he needed more intensity in his training than he ever had before.

"I got invited to help a world champion fighter get ready for his next fight by being one of his sparring partners," Garcia said. "Mike Tyson has a training facility in Fort Lauderdale and I was sparring with Argenis Mendez from the Dominican Republic."

Mendez, a silver medalist at the junior world championships in 2004, lost his IBF junior lightweight title fight to Rances Barthelemy on Jan 4 in Minneapolis, but Garcia jokingly said "it wasn’t my fault."

On Saturday, Garcia (18-1, 11 KOs) will make his return to both the ring and to Grand Rapids as he fights Chicago’s Jermaine White (17-6) in a junior welterweight undercard fight. Hudsonville heavyweight Jordan Schimmel is the main attraction for this night of fighting.

Other probable boxers include: Purnell Gates (26 – 2, 15 KOs) from Grandville, Lane Staal (11-0-1, 5 KOs) from Canton and Vincent Jennings (3-0-1, 3 KOs) from Grand Rapids.

Garcia, a Holland native, said he plans to use the knowledge he gained from hanging out with Tyson, a former heavyweight world champion, and sparring with Mendez to add another win to his record.
"I want to show that my skill level is still rising," Garcia, 31, said. "Mendez is slick and crafty and I learned I have to be patient. I feed off the energy of the (home) crowd.

"I want to give them a show, but I know I can’t go out there and bullrush every opponent. The big punches will come."

White has lost his last three fights and has not been in the ring since Jan. 5, 2013 when his fight with Denver’s Robert Frankel was stopped due to an accidental head butt.

Garcia, however, is training for this fight as he has for every one of his previous 19 bouts — like it’s for a championship.

"I didn’t have a set schedule (in Fort Lauderdale), but I was working out hard the whole time I was down there," Garcia said. "I’m not looking past (White). I know I have a tough fight and a tough fighter in front of me."

Tickets for "Wintertime Warfare" are available at Pincushns in downtown Holland or at Holland Cakery ‘n Sweets, 11539 E. Lakewood Blvd. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the fight begins at 7 p.m.

Advance general admission tickets are $25, floor seats are $35. VIP tables are also available. Parking for the event is $7. Admission will rise $10 day of show.


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