By Sergio L Martinez
Danny “Swift” Garcia is considered a fighter that is on the rise in popularity. The suppliers of this young talent, Golden Boy, have been on course with meeting demand: even with the rescheduling of his fight against Zab “Super” Judah until April, this will be Garcia’s fourth fight in the past 13 months. The young 24 year old, undefeated Philadelphian is the current WBC/WBA light welterweight champion. His last three fights have been televised by a major network and he has won the last two by knockout. Everything up to this point sounds like all of the attention that Garcia is receiving is well-deserved; at least, until one examines further.
Photo: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
One of his last three fights was against the capable and highly touted Amir “King” Khan which Garcia dispatched in impressive fashion via fourth round technical knockout. Although Khan’s weak chin had failed him before, one still has to give “Swift” credit as the British star is respected in boxing and was still viable at the time that he faced Garcia.
So how did Garcia follow-up his breakout performance in which he unified titles and defeated a world-class fighter in his prime?
He faced the aged, worn, blown-up featherweight, veteran Erik “El Terrible” Morales, who was well-past his prime by at least five years. The added caveat is that he had already defeated Morales – although he struggled in the fight – a mere seven months before by unanimous decision. Morales is a beloved legend, but he was a done fighter well before he ever faced Garcia. Facing him a second time made even less sense: “Swift” knocked Morales out in four rounds and yet suddenly was ordained the Second Coming by many in the sport.
Even if one would give Garcia a pass on the second Morales fight as “unfinished business” because of the way their first meeting went, it is hard to understand and accept that Zab “Super” Judah is the next appropriate salvo for his career considering the facts.
Judah is 35 years old and mostly inactive, having fought only three times in the past two years; he is best known as a frontrunner that puts up a good fight but, in the end, loses. For those that will claim Judah defeated Argentinian puncher Lucas Matthysse as a reason he is viable it must be said that their fight was over two years ago and his split decision win was not without controversy. Matthysse is much improved so the chance of Judah repeating such a win is highly unlikely. Even Danny’s father, Loudmouth Garcia, told Judah at a press conference that, “[his] time is over.” Still, and shamefully so, Garcia is slated to face the Brooklyn southpaw and is defending his titles in the process.
Garcia would be better off facing Matthysse as both fighters appear to be peaking and the Argentine is on a serious win streak having fought five times in the past 12 months, winning all by knockout. A win against Matthysse would carry far more weight for Garcia than beating up the used up Judah. If Garcia really wants this fight it can happen quickly, as both Garcia and Matthysse are promoted by Golden Boy.
Another fighter “Swift” could face that would legitimize his reign and lofty status is Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. The Mexican-American badass is as wild and as tough as they come today. Rios, who has hands of stone, balls of steel and granite for a chin, would give Garcia the ultimate opportunity to show everyone that he is more than just a guy who won some belts and is on an exhibition tour fighting a bunch of has-beens in order to make as much money as possible, fleecing boxing fans in the process. This fight would be harder to make because of the Golden Boy-Top Rank (Rios’s Promoter) feud, but again: Garcia can try to force the issue and demand that his promoters and HBO push for the fight.
In the end, Garcia will face Judah as scheduled and most likely will win if everything goes as planned. Following that win, Garcia’s father will talk more smack and the fighter will go on his victory lap, waiting for Ricky Hatton to decide to come out of retirement a second time in order for the Philadelphian to make the third defense of his titles.
Should Hatton decide to remain retired, Garcia can always count on Jose Luis Castillo or Michael Katsidis to answer the phone.
Contact Sergio L. Martinez at [email protected]