I’ve never been overly impressed by Danny “Swift” Garcia.
Let’s start with his nickname. Check out the best sportsbooks for betting on Boxing.
Swift is speedy and always ready. Think of the two “Sugar Rays,” Robinson and Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Willie Pep, Hector Camacho, and, Gary Russell Jr.
But Garcia? No. He has a rhythm for sure – he’s tough, perhaps even a little sneaky, due to his counterpunching ability.
More Ford Focus than Dodge Viper.
More solid than swift.
Garcia has won titles in two divisions, picking up his first ten years ago (junior welterweight) by decisioning an aging Erik Morales. Garcia defended his title against English speedster Amir Khan a few months later. Khan was favored going into the bout and showed why by dominating the opening rounds with fast hands and feet.
In round three, everything changed. Garcia showcased his aforementioned counterpunching skill.
After Khan fired a right, Garcia let fly with a no-look left hook.
Down went Khan.
With his legs gone, Khan fought back.
Garcia landed several sweeping rights and lefts from Phildelphia. The fight lasted until round five.
Garcia knocked out Morales in a rematch, and edged Zab Judah.
Next, he faced hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse. Garcia knocked the favored fighter down in round eleven. He won the bout by a unanimous decision.
Impressive for sure.
Garcia went home to Puerto Rico to fight hardscrabble contender Mauricio Herrera. He looked bored before the fight, but not Herrera – who used the ring intelligently, jabbed to the body consistently, and landed more punches. Garcia connected with the heavier shots, but Herrera controlled most of the fight, or so it seemed.
Two judges had Garcia winning the bout by four points, while the third scored the fight a draw. Showtime commentators Al Bernstein, Paulie Malignaggi, and Steve Farhood all had Herrera winning the bout. This boxing scribe concurred.
But the decision shocked few. A knockout over tiny Rod Salka impressed nobody. Wins over Lamont Peterson and Paulie Malignaggi set up a title shot against Robert Guerrero for the WBC strap. Starting slowly, Garcia wore Guerrero down and won another 12-round decision. His performance was efficient.
He lost the title in his second defense against crafty Keith Thurman. Looking to, as usual, counterpunch, Thurman beat him to the punch and avoided most of Garcia’s return fire.
After the Thurman loss, Garcia knocked out Brandon Rios and got outhustled by Shawn Porter. Some questioned Garcia’s desire. And hunger.
Garcia had no problems with fringe contenders Adrian Granados and Ivan Redkach and received a title shot against comebacking welterweight king Errol Spence.
Physically, Garcia looked ready, but this is not his fault; Spence is a better fighter. Garcia tried to time Spence but could not. Spence outworked him in eight of the 12 frames. Maybe more.
Garcia talked retirement after the fight. Check out the top sports betting sites for betting on Boxing.
Then, he stopped talking. Top Rank announced he was moving up to the 154-pound division to fight Jose Benavidez Jr.
Benavidez incurred his only loss against Terence Crawford in 2018. He was there early but out by round 12.
The question mark sits squarely on the shoulders of the 34-year-old Garcia.
Garcia’s been in some tough fights, but not many. He’s past it but still -.wait for it, solid.
He should have enough to defeat Benavidez.
Benavidez sees the outcome differently.
“This is a Mexico vs. Puerto Rico matchup, and both of us have something to prove,” Benavidez said. “I feel strong, and I know I will end this one on fight night. I’m bigger and stronger than he is. ”
“I feel blessed,” said Garcia. “I’m back like I never left. The ‘Danny Garcia Show’ returns July 30, and you don’t want to miss it.”
Modesty was never one of Danny’s strengths.
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