By: Hans Themistode
It’s hard to believe but former two division champion Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) has become an afterthought. This Saturday night, he takes on Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California and there really isn’t much buzz surrounding the contest. Its mostly because current WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford and Amir Khan have stolen much of the headlines, as they’ll be battling it out in Madison Square Garden on the same night.
It has mostly relegated Garcia to the sidelines. It isn’t a surprise. Crawford vs Khan is a much more compelling matchup than Garcia vs Granados. Garcia should seemingly roll right through Granados, or at least he should right?
For as much grief as Garcia gets from the fans, he is still a terrific fighter. His resume ranks amongst some of the very best in all of boxing. Wins over the likes of Zab Judah, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson and others have solidified his position. His two losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter were close fights that could have gone either way. In short, Garcia is an elite fighter. Granados on the other hand is a differently story entirely.
Granados lost his second pro bout. Hardly the mark of an elite fighter. His resume is littered with losses and draws against opponents that are hardly known in the boxing world. He is a tough nosed competitor who seems to always receive the short end of the stick. His loss to Adrien Broner was debatable. The defeat he suffered at the hands of current WBC Welterweight champ Shawn Porter, was a close call.
In 2015, he picked up his biggest win to date when he surprisingly defeated then undefeated Amir Imam. Granados has recently gotten two wins via stoppage against Luis Valdez and Adalberto Borquez, he will be looking to make Garcia his third straight knockout victim.
A win for Granados doesn’t seem likely, but if we take a deeper look, his chances of pulling off the upset increases. Granados will carry a half inch height advantage along with a significant six inch reach advantage as well. Garcia, also has a style that many would consider tailor made for Granados. Garcia is a counter puncher, he allows his opponents to initiate offense which allows him to sit back and counter. He isn’t a volume puncher but he is an accurate one. Granados on the other hand, throws punches in bunches. His work rate and granite chin could cause some problems for the former champion.
Being written off is something that Granados has grown accustomed to. However, Danny Garcia must be weary, if he underestimates his opponent he could be in for a long night.
Granados won’t be the only massive underdog on this card as Heavyweight contender Alexander Dimitrenko (41-4, 26 KOs) takes on former title challenger Andy Ruiz Jr (31-1, 20 KOs).
Let’s be honest here. Dimitrenko, who is coming off a knockout loss at the hands of Bryant Jennings, is essentially being brought in here to make Ruiz look good. Dimitrenko has lost every time he has stepped up his level of opposition. Ruiz has tasted defeat just one time in his career, a 2016 majority decision loss to Joseph Parker. Ruiz has won two straight victories since then and is looking to pick up his third win and position himself for a future title shot.
Much like Granados, Dimitrenko has plenty of advantages on paper including a five inch height advantage to go along with a staggering eight inch reach advantage. At age 36, he also has experience on his side as well. If Ruiz hopes to add his name in the mix in the Heavyweight division than he will need to dispatch of of Dimitrenko in impressive fashion.
While Danny Garcia and Andy Ruiz will be looking to re-establish themselves as title threats in their respective divisions, both Brandon Figueroa (18-0, 13 KOs) and Yonfrez Parejo (22-3-1, 11 KOs) will be battling for gold as the interim WBA Super Bantamweight title will be up for grabs.
Both men will be highly motivated to bring the title home with them. In the case of Figueroa, he will be looking to continue his impressive run. Not only has he gone undefeated in 18 pro bouts but he has also stopped his last five opponents. Parejo has only been stopped one time in his 10 year career. Parejo recently challenged Ryan Burnett for his WBA title but fell short. He will now get another crack at the title with hopes of a different result.
All three of these fights represent something significant. No one can afford to lose. The men that go on to achieve glory come Saturday night will have a plethora of options awaiting them while the losers will be forced to the bottom of the barrel.