WHO'S NEXT FOR DANNY GARCIA AT 147 lbs?
By TOM WATT on August 3 2015
This Sunday on Premier Boxing Champions we saw the arrival of Danny Garcia to the stacked Welterweight division and the probable departure of Pauli Malignaggi from the ring altogether. Many before the fight predicted that this would be one fight too far for Malignaggi after a long period of inactivity and as referee, Arthur Mercante Jr called a stop to the fight in Round 9, the ‘Magic Man’ had no complaints.
Much of the post-fight focus has been centred around the pending retirement of one of the Sport’s most popular figures and rightfully so but from the business stand-point, Sunday was about Danny Garcia acclimatising to Welterweight as he looks to make in-roads in the most competitive division in the sport, whilst he looked good in his victory, it is important to shed some perspective on this win.
Firstly, Malignaggi hasn’t fought for over fifteen months, and when he did he was blown out by former IBF Champion, Shawn Porter. Garcia came nowhere near being as dominant and destructive as Porter was and although he eventually wore Malignaggi down, there was rarely a moment where he looked close to getting him out of there in the same fashion as Porter. Admittedly, varying styles make fights look different and that could certainly be argued but Garcia was looking to over-power Malignaggi from the first bell, he just didn’t set a relenting pace and that allowed the fight to reach the later rounds.
So was Garcia’s performance good enough to think he can challenge the best at Welterweight? There will be some that say he hasn’t even fought the best at light-welterweight for a long time, having fought Mauricio Herrera and Rod Salka in 2 of his last 3 fights but nevertheless he is an undefeated fighter with a big following. Below we have a look at a few of the options available to Team Garcia and how we think those fights may go.
With Garcia aligned to the WBC and his obvious desire to win Titles, current WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Champion would be a good place to start. However Garcia will be just another name in the queue for their chance to fight the P4P Champion and with Mayweather to fight a yet-to-be-named opponent on September 12th and then retire this seems unlikely.
However, most in the Boxing fraternity are not convinced September will be Mayweather’s last fight and expect him to return next May for his 50th fight as he looks to eclipse the record of Rocky Marciano. By then Garcia may have a couple more wins under his belt at 147 lbs and may be seen as a legitimate option for Mayweather. From what we saw last night this is a fight Mayweather would be more than confident of winning, if Malignaggi was able to make Garcia miss then it’s fair to say that a defensive master like Mayweather will also frustrate the Philly-born fighter.
Conclusion: Won’t happen this year, could be one to watch for May 2016.
Prediction: Mayweather shut-out.
If Garcia is looking to win Titles at his new weight then current IBF Champion, Kell Brook is another option. The Sheffield-born fighter has been looking for an opponent since his lopsided victory over fellow-Brit, Frankie Gavin. Fights with Brandon Rios and Juan Manuel Marquez have failed to materialise and Brook’s ongoing saga with Amir Khan seems set to continue into 2016. Brook’s promoter, Eddie Hearn has openly said he is willing to travel to get the best fights out there so a fight stateside is possible, particularly given that Hearn and Haymon have developed a good working relationship over the last year.
Brook is a natural Welterweight and very, very strong. Garcia may have been able to out-muscle his opponents at 140 lbs and against Malignaggi at the weekend but Brook is a different animal altogether and it will take more than walking him down to take the belt away from the Steel City – Brook will be able to match Garcia for power as well as offering a lot more in the way of ring-smarts. Brook is a powerful welterweight and a very accomplished Boxer, it’s a very risky fight, particularly given that Brook is a relative unknown stateside when compared to other, potentially easier fights while Garcia waits for Floyd to vacate and the WBC to hand him a shot for the vacant title.
Conclusion: Too risky for Garcia’s team to accept, home-advantage may sway this decision but seems unlikely at present.
Prediction: A very tough fight to call but all things being equal (judging/reffing etc.) Brook wins by decision
A rematch with Amir Khan would be one of the biggest pay-days available for both fighters, since the two met at 140 lbs in 2012 they have both gone on to become even bigger household names and with the Mayweather fight all but out of Khan’s grasp it’s time he looks at Plan B, the Brook fight will happen but not yet according to Khan so Garcia may offer a viable alternative.
When the pair first met, Garcia took home the victory after a trademark left hook in the 4th round, until that point Khan had been easily out-classing the Philly native and at 147 lbs he would be confident of avenging this defeat particularly given some of the lackluster performances we’ve seen from Garcia since then. Garcia’s power and Khan’s chin would be a focal point for discussions leading into the fight and both fighters bring legions of their own, devoted fans so the atmosphere and excitement surrounding the fight would be fantastic. This seems to be one of the most common sense fights out there for both men.
Conclusion: A definite possibility, maybe an October/November fight once Khan accepts the Mayweather fight has gone.
Prediction: Expect to see similar tactics from both fighters as in their first meeting as Khan looks to outbox and Garcia looks to overpower, Khan wins unless he catches one of ‘those left hooks’
After defeating Jesse Vargas last month, Tim Bradley was named the WBO’s ‘interim’ Champion (the fight was originally set for a title fight before confusion with Mayweather erupted). Bradley is a well-known and highly respected fighter at welterweight and given his recent action-packed performances a fight between these two would be a very easy sell to the fans, both can fight and both can bang – Bradley’s recent win over Jesse Vargas highlighted both sides of Bradley, he is a great boxer when he wants to be but all-too-often he gets dragged into wars he doesn’t need to be in which is great viewing for the fans but a dangerous game for him to play, especially with Garcia’s left hook looming.
Bradley wouldn’t show Garcia as much respect as Malignaggi did this weekend and Garcia wouldn’t have the same size advantage he had over the ‘Magic Man’ in Brooklyn, this will likely make Garcia less confident to keep walking forward and may force him to use his Boxing and not his power. Garcia would probably go into the fight as favourite but that’s not something that has ever concerned Bradley or his team, I’d expect to see this fight show a bit of everything from both fighters and it may come down to who want’s it more.
Conclusion: Very easy fight to sell to the fans, promotional differences may get in the way though
Prediction: A war. Both these men are warriors that can Box and Punch, this would be a fight of will power and determination and could be very close. If I had to put my money down, I’d give Bradley the edge, purely because of his natural size and power at 147 lbs.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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