Undefeated boxing star Mikey Garcia will make his 140-pound debut tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. And he’s doing so against tough competition.
Garcia will take on Adrien Broner, a fighter boasting a 33-2 record who has competed consistently at 140 pounds and dominated many of the opponents put in front of him. When Garcia, 36-0, takes on Broner, he will be doing so in a one-of-one boxing boot.
Ahead of the fight, which will air on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET, Garcia spoke with Footwear News about the boots he’ll wear against Broner, what he looks for in training shoes and what it would take for him to endorse a brand.
What will you be wearing into the ring for your fight against Adrien Broner on July 29?
It’s an Everlast boxing shoe, the same style that I’ve worn in previous fights, but this time we customized it to match the outfit, which was done by Fight Label from the U.K. They did the outfit for my last fight [against Dejan Zlaticanin] except for the shoes; the shoes were just a regular boxing shoe from Nike. This time we are using an Everlast shoe in a custom color configuration to match the boxing outfit.
What does your training footwear range look like? Do you have different sneakers for strength training, running and ring work?
I’ve got running shoes and my boxing shoes; that’s pretty much the footwear for training. I like to use either Nike or Asics for running; it depends on the style. Sometimes I like New Balance. It depends on the shoe fit and how I feel with the shoe. With boxing, it’s all been boxing boots from Everlast.
How important is it for a boxer to find the right sneakers to train in leading up to a fight?
Because I’ve done boxing so much I know what to look for in a running shoe for the road work, so when I go to the store and look up all the running shoes available, I tend to look at the grip underneath the sole. I’m running sometimes on pavement, sometimes on dirt, so I need to find two styles that the sole and the grip will help me on dirt and one that will be a little more comfortable on the hard asphalt. I tend to look at that, along with ankle support. I don’t have a preference as far as one brand.
What do you look for in a boxing boot?
You want to make sure that you have a good boot that gives you support, protect your ankles, protect your feet, but also I don’t want something that’s too heavy; I want to be light on my feet. If I’m preparing myself to be moving around boxing, I need to be using my footwork a lot, then I need something light. I don’t want something heavy, something bulky. I’ve tried boxing shoes that are a little big, a little heavier, and I don’t like those. They might be better looking stylistically, but they don’t perform as well or the way I need the shoe to perform.
How many pairs of shoes do you wear out in a training camp?
Probably about three pairs of boxing shoes that I’m constantly rotating, and I have two pairs of running shoes that I keep around because road work changes from the dirt to the hard asphalt.
Outside of the ring, what do you wear?
It depends on the day. I’ve got tennis shoes that I wear, and sometimes I’m just wearing basketball shoes, some Jordans. If I’ve got to dress up I’ve got different dress shoes. I also have a few cowboy boots that I put on for the occasion.
What would it take for you to agree to endorse one athletic brand?
I would have to look at the product a lot and see where they are headed, what kind of marketing they are pushing, and see if it’s the right fit for me. If I feel that I want to go in the same direction as they are then we could go together and push hard. But if they’re intentions or idea on where they want to take their brand is not where I want to go or the core values are not the same, I might not be as interested. And it’s not all about style; I need to try their shoes for comfort. I’m not going to advertise a shoe just because it looks cool if I’m not going to use it if it doesn’t fit well or perform the way I need it to.