HARD DOG BITES: Wake-Up Team Mikey Garcia & Vulnerable "Peanut-Head" Wilder
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HARD DOG BITES: Wake-Up Team Mikey Garcia & Vulnerable "Peanut-Head" Wilder
By Blake Chavez, Doghouse Boxing (June 25, 2015)

Deontay Wilder
Deontay Wilder
OK, so here's the thing: How in the hell could Team Garcia screw-up the career of their own beloved kin, former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia? The Garcia clan are veterans of the game, reaching 'Top of the Food Chain' status when patriarch Eduardo Garcia brought O.G. Oxnard Colonia superstar Fernando Vargas to elite status. Robert won a junior lightweight championship, and is now considered a world class trainer. So there should be nothing new under the pro boxing sun to that crew. Inside the ring, they grade out highly. Outside the ring, at least in this case, they appear clueless. I want to know who is driving that runaway train.

So Mikey sues Top Rank in April of 2014 looking to be a free agent. Mikey's manager, Cameron Duncan, initially claimed no knowledge of the suit. How can one's own manager not know? I have no interest in the he said-she-said BS. My point is, how do you get to the point of choosing a year and a half of inactivity, in your prime, after building tremendous momentum with five straight HBO appearances? Oh, blame the promoter? Hell, Arum's been doing his thing since before his nuts went grey, and the Garcia tribe got in bed with him anyway and now, after all they've been through together... all the HBO appearances, the championships, the money...they roll over one morning and don't want to see Bob's head on their pillow?

They went in with eyes wide open. OK. The number one consideration should be Mikey's career, because if there is no career there is no money... and that's what this mess boils down to is money. For Mikey, for Robert, for Eduardo, for Cameron, and for Bob. So the kid has been rusting for going on two years now? I got news for all of you. He's not a kid anymore. If he's lucky, he'll be back in the ring this December. The man will be 28 years old and thirty is soon to slap him hard in the face. The majority of little fellows traditionally burn out early, agreed? So I calculate Mikey has been robbed of six fights in the prime of his life, and all presumably would have been contested at a championship level and drawn fairly strong interest. We can estimate he would have averaged at the very least $600k- $750k per, so Mikey lost out on, bare minimum, right in the neighborhood of $4 million smackers.

How does he get that money back? We know he can't get those peak years back either. Gone!

The thing is, Mikey Garcia's career was on fire: white hot. Now where is it? So Mikey got butt-hurt because Gambia was going to get a bigger purse in their proposed fight. So what? The smart play was: bank the gorgeous million dollars offered, showcase your skills to a new level of audience ratings, put a whipping on a midget who never heard of the word 'defense'... and move up the name recognition ladder to purses you would then deserve. People: Rightly or wrongly, at the end of the day, Gambia was the bigger name. Top Rank had banged that Gamboa vs Juanma drum for ages. Go ahead and hate, but Arum built a terrific platform for Gamboa. That Olympic Gold Medal didn't hurt Gamboa's purse demands either. Oh, and that guy who is a superstar at social media, 50 Cent? 50 had his big face right next to Gamboa in every photo op. Mickey has never even seen an Olympics, much less won a Gold Medal at one. Yet Mikey demanded purse parity. Listen, hanging out in Oxnard and Riverside with Brother Robert and Papa Eduardo won't do much for your image or Q-rating. Not much to Twitter about, agreed?

So instead, Team Garcia took the ridiculous butt-hurt road that keeps him inactive and makes him no longer relevant. Bye-bye momentum, because just when the recognition was coming in, Team Garcia pulled an Andre "where-the-hell-have you-been" Ward? Newsflash: Nobody missed Andre, and nobody, in the grand scheme of things, has, or will miss Mikey Garcia. Ask the man in the street about Mikey Garcia and they stare back at you with a blank look on their face. Look, I get it. Arum is no saint. Which side is right is irrelevant at this juncture.

Mikey has to make up for lost time, and lost money. I get that. So if they end up making nice-nice, Arum may hold a grudge and cash-out on Mikey by pitting him with the teeth-rattling cavemen haunting the 140 pound division. And if a catch-weight PacMan payday is on the table, and don't fool yourselves, the only way Mikey gets to that pay window is with Arum glued to his side, he'll yes; Mikey's gotta take it. But if he gets crushed like an under-sized grape, it could be his last significant purse. Mikey: have you forgotten when you sparred Rios when he was at 140 you would say that you could box and hang with him by using movement, but eventually he would catch up to you after three, four, or five rounds and literally own your azz? Tough neighborhood that 140. Not saying Mikey can't win there, it's just that even if he does, at the end of his career he's going home to his family having taken much more punishment than had he stayed the course he was on.

In the meantime, Robert has been cashing some major checks and will fatten his bank account even more by taking lucrative training commissions from Julio "where-are-my-Cheerios" Chavez Jr. and the returning Chino "I've been eating like Duran" Maidana, while Mikey gets by on savings that dwindle by the month. Where is the sense of urgency from Team Garcia? Sit down and settle your beef with Top Rank right now. If you chew on that false pride long enough, you might be able to swallow it and do what's right for Mikey's career. Instead, Mikey's getting fat, grubbing hard, with cheeks like a chipmunk. What's that going to get him? Ring rust and a date at 140 with some bad-ass cavemen.

Let me state clearly: I believe Mikey Garcia is a great talent; at featherweight and super-featherweight. He could fare well at lightweight, and might even snare a trinket belt in that division. But it says here he'll get his world rocked and eat a ton of damage at 140. Let's hope that if Team Garcia decides to walk him through that 140 division minefield they do so with a "toe-in-the-water" tune-up to gauge how hard those dogs bite. I must also state clearly that Robert Garcia is an elite-level trainer and my comments are all business. Nothing personal.

BTW: Robert Garcia did himself no favors beefing with Bob "I have-a memory-like-an-elephant" Arum. It might cost Robert several elite Top Rank prospect referrals in the future. The bottom line is, everyone loses. But Top Rank can absorb the losses much easier Mikey. I wish all parties well, and many more championships.

From The Peanut Gallery: Heavyweight Champ Deontay Wilder has a major flaw that was obvious from jump street. He was born with what's known on the streets as a "peanut- head". History clearly tells us that there has never been a peanut-headed heavyweight champion--ever! But with the diluted talent pool and multiple belts, one was bound to slip in. But that nugget can't stand up to elite heavyweight punchers. When some respectable shots land... sweet dreams Deontay! Heck, if the pretender Molina had him wrinkled and woozy on Queer Street, what does that tell us? Bad omen. Don't believe the 'peanut-theory"? The proof is in the peanut.

Just check out the skull on Holyfield! Tyson totes a mean melon too. "Big" George? Yikes! Larry Holmes and "Big Daddy" Bowe both had brick-heads. Just picture Shannon "Rock-head" Briggs and James "oh-my-dear-God-what a cranium" Toney. Smokin' Joe had a head only his momma could love. Remember the slabs atop Oliver McCall and "Mandingo" Norton? Don't even get me started on Michael "TNT" Dokes and the massive yacht his neck was doomed to carry. Even Lennox Lewis's head is no day at the beach. Randall "Tex" Cobb wasn't a champion, but his Mack truck sized head took a back seat to no one. Which brings us to Gerry Cooney's head, that could give the Goodyear blimp a run for its money! And one-time Ali foil, Ernie "The Acorn" Shavers didn't get his nickname because his dome was tiny. And speaking of Ali, as quiet as it's kept, even Ali had a good-sized noggin!

All in good fun. Good luck Deontay. You carry yourself well in the toughest business on earth. May God bless.

Paulie Malignaggi just doesn't know when to quit. The boy has a helluva good job spittin' game on Showtime and other networks as a boxing commentator and he's risking that sweet, cushy life by taking on more fights, or should I say more beatings? Give it up. It's over Paulie. Been over. Cotto beat you ugly. Khan brutalized you like a criminal. Porter straight-out prison mugged you. Just how much more punishment before you start talking like you have marbles in your mouth? I guess he couldn't resist the glory and the dough for Garcia. If Paulie starts slurring his words, the networks will black-ball him as bad for business. As much shit as Paulie talks... he needs to walk the walk and walk away now, while he's still ahead. But he won't because he's too arrogant and refuses to see the train wreck with his name on it coming. Yeah. I said it.

Can't help myself: NBA Finals note: Cleveland's J.R. Smith is a dead ringer for Aqua Teen Hunger Force cartoon character "Frylock".

Blake Chavez answers all of his emails--- platinumpages@aol.com


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