With the historic opportunity to become the country of Uruguay’s first world professional boxing champion inching closer with every victory, unbeaten WBC #9 middleweight Amilcar “Pety” Vidal is hard at work in the gym with 2022 Ring Magazine and Sports Illustrated “Trainer of the Year” Bob Santos, preparing for his 10-round SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) clash against Arizona’s also unbeaten Elijah Garcia on Saturday, March 4 from Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calif.
Vidal (16-0, 12 KOs) and Garcia (13-0, 11 KOs) will meet in the opening televised bout of a Premier Boxing Champions event topped by a high-powered matchup of former world champions, Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa and Filipino sensation Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo for the vacant Interim WBC Featherweight Title live. The telecast will also feature the return of former unified world champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd as he takes on the power-punching Armando Reséndiz in the 10-round middleweight co-main event.
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Vidal is now under the guidance of top trainer Santos in their mutual adopted home of Las Vegas. The 26-year-old put together an impressive streak between November 2019 and November 2020, defeating three previously unbeaten fighters in a row, as he knocked out Zach Prieto on SHOBOX: The New Generation®, Leopoldo Reyna and Edward Ortiz. Vidal followed that up with a decision victory over veteran contender Immanuwel Aleem in July 2021 on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, and has added three more triumphs since then, including most recently winning a unanimous decision over Gabriel Omar Diaz last July.
“I’m too close to lose now,” said Vidal during a break. “I am training with the will of the people of Uruguay and my promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, who is also from here, and I have the best trainer in the world to get me past Garcia and the rest of the way to becoming my country’s first world champion.”
Vidal says that against the power-punching southpaw Garcia he’ll be looking to make a final statement in his case for a championship fight.
“There will be no denying me after this,” said Vidal. “I will make my final case for a title shot by destroying my opponent’s will and taking his undefeated record. He’s a good fighter, but this is history in the making that cannot be stopped.”
The 26-year-old Vidal and trainer Santos both agree that his experience and skills will be too much for the comparably untested 19-year-old Garcia.
“The lights and the people. The stakes. They make it harder if you’re not used to it,” admitted Vidal. “He’s not ready for me with just one notable win on his record.”
“In this sport, one punch can change everything, but I think Pety’s experience will be the big key factor,” added Santos. “That’s what will lead us to victory.”
Santos says he and Vidal aren’t working on any particular facet of the game to prepare, but rather just upping all of the South American’s considerable assets.
“Everything is great. I couldn’t be more pleased. He’s such a hard worker and a quick learner with so much attention to detail. A very strong kid with good power in both hands. He has a lot of good attributes and he’s also a tremendous person to be around. There’s no particular area we’re focusing on, just getting better every day, from top to bottom.”
Santos says he foresees little problem dealing with Garcia’s left-handed stance.
“Any time you fight a left hander they will present a problem because you don’t fight as many of them. That said, Pety is a veteran and he’s been in there against quality guys. He’s got a lot of experience and we’ve got some good quality sparring to get him ready. He will be prepared to make an impressive statement on March 4.”