- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Other than a little facial bruising following surgery to repair his busted nose, newly crowned featherweight titlist Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia is feeling and sounding good.
Garcia suffered the broken nose just before the end of the eighth round against Orlando Salido on Jan. 19 at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York when Salido rammed him in the face with an accidental head-butt.
The ringside doctor determined that Garcia could not continue, so the fight was stopped and sent to the scorecards for a technical decision. Garcia, who had dropped Salido four times in a thoroughly dominant performance, won the lopsided decision and a slice of the 126-pound title.
Garcia, 25, of Oxnard, Calif., had surgery Friday to repair his nose.
"I look more beat up after surgery than I did after the fight," Garcia joked when we spoke on Monday. "I'm a little beat up around the nose, and my eyes are a little black after the surgery. But it went as planned and shouldn't be too long of a recovery time."
Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) said he went home from the hospital just an hour or so after the procedure and feels fine now.
"My nose is a little stuffy and it's a little hard to breathe, but I'm fine," he said. "I have a post-op visit on Tuesday. I'm going back to the doctor and he will check me out and see how the healing process is going and tell me know long until I get to train and spar again."
Cameron Dunkin, Garcia's manager, said the hope is to schedule Garcia's first title defense in May, but that it more likely will be in June.
"The surgery went fine and he will be ready in May, and when I mentioned that to [Top Rank executives] Todd [duBoef] and Carl [Moretti], they said he probably wouldn't be scheduled until June," Dunkin said.
One potential opponent Dunkin mentioned is Orlando Cruz (19-2-1, 9 KOs) of Puerto Rico, the WBO's leading available contender. Cruz, of course, made international headlines last fall when he became the first active boxer in history to announce that he is gay.