Wrestling & MMA

Roberto Garcia to face Victor Cayo at Hialeah Park and Casino

Roberto Garcia capitalized on his previous fight and TV appearance and looks for a similar outcome Thursday night.

A native of Mexico, Garcia will face the Dominican Republic’s Victor Cayo in the main event of the first boxing show at Hialeah Park and Casino. The scheduled 10-round welterweight bout will be televised by ESPN2.

“I’m very grateful to be able to get these opportunities,” said Garcia, a resident of Weslaco, Texas. “There were dry spells in my career and I held on and didn’t get down on myself.”

Garcia’s dedication paid off, when he was called on short notice to face countryman Norberto Gonzalez Feb. 7 in Chicago. The bout also was part of an ESPN2 telecast and Garcia (34-3, 22 KOs) won a split decision.

“We bit the bullet in the last fight, took a risk on a few days’ notice and doing that got us to this opportunity,” Garcia said.

But Garcia’s new opportunity also comes with another risk. Garcia faced Gonzalez in a middleweight bout and will now to deal with dropping two weight classes to face Cayo.

“I’ve had no problems dropping down,” said Garcia, 34. “I was taking short notice fights above my weight class to stay in the mix. I’ve been trying to get a fight at welterweight for years.”

Cayo (32-4, 23 KOs) is now a welterweight after spending most of his career in the 140-pound class. Cayo’s junior-welterweight peak was his unanimous decision loss against Lamont Peterson in a title eliminator bout in July 2010. Peterson eventually became a junior-welterweight world champion..

In addition to the Garcia-Cayo fight, ESPN2 will televise another of the card’s bouts — the middleweight match between Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Gonzalez (17-0-1, 14 KOs) and Mexico’s Rogelio Medina (32-5, 26 KOs).

Unbeaten light-heavyweight and Miami resident Yuniesky Gonzalez will fight in one of the undercard bouts. A native of Cuba, Gonzalez (13-0, 9 KOs) will face Jaison Palomeque (14-9-1, 9 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout.

Thursday’s card will begin at 7, followed by the ESPN2 broadcast two hours later.