By: William Holmes
Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series returns to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night. This installment of the PBC will feature Philadelphia native Danny Garcia fighting in Brooklyn for the fifth time in the past three years against perennial gate keeper Paulie Malignaggi.
Cancer survivor Daniel Jacobs will open up the telecast when he puts his WBA Middleweight title on the line against former “Contender” winner Sergio Mora.
The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts.
Daniel Jacobs (29-1) vs. Sergio Mora (28-3-2); WBA Middleweight Title
Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora’s career has experienced its shared of ups and downs, but he’s currently riding a five fight win streak and this will be his first world title shot since 2008.
Mora first became famous by winning the tournament on the television series “The Contender” in 2005 when he defeated Peter Manfredo Jr. by a unanimous decision in 2005. Mora had some success as an amateur boxer, but he never won the Golden Gloves, the US National Championships, and he never competed in the Olympics.
The hardest bout of Daniel Jacobs’ career was his fight with cancer, which he was diagnosed with in May of 2011. As an amateur Jacobs won the Junior Olympics National Champions, the Police Athletic League National Championship, and he was a National Golden Gloves winner.
Jacobs will have a slight one inch height advantage on his Mora and both have about the same reach. Jacobs is the harder puncher, for he has twenty six stoppage victories while Mora has only stopped a meager nine opponents. Mora, however, has two stoppage victories in his past five fights. Jacobs has stopped nine straight opponents.
The best success in Mora’s career came several years ago. His notable victories include a title winning victory over Vernon Forest, as well as wins again Abraham Han, Grzegorz Proksa, Peter Manfredo Jr., and Ishe Smith. Mora’s losses have come against Vernon Forrest in a rematch and Brian Vera twice. He also had a draw against Shane Mosley, in which he came in three pounds overweight.
Jacobs’ lone loss came in July of 2010 when he shockingly knocked out in the fifth round by Dmitry Pirog. He has defeated the likes of Ishe Smith, Caleb Truax, Milton Nunez, and Jarrod Fletcher.
The biggest difference on Saturday will be the age of the competitors. Jacobs is still in his prime at the age of twenty eight while Mora’s best days are clearly behind him at the age thirty four. Mora should be able to take Jacobs the distance, but it’s unlikely he’ll pull off the upset.
Danny Garcia (30-0) vs. Paulie Malignaggi (33-6); Welterweight Division
This will be Danny Garcia’s first fight in the welterweight division and he will be facing a man with six losses, including two of his last four bouts, and is seven years older than him.
Garcia has stopped seventeen of his opponents, but he has had only one stoppage victory in his past five fights, and that was again a severely overmatched and undersized Rod Salka.
Malignaggi was last seen in a ring about less than four months ago getting thrashed by Shawn Porter before the referee stopped the bout in the fourth round.
Garcia had a good amateur career and he won the US National Championships as an amateur in 2006. Malignaggi did not experience the same success as Garcia when he fought as an amateur.
They are similar in height and reach, Garcia will have a slight half an inch height advantage over Malignaggi but Malignaggi will have a slight inch and a half reach advantage.
Malignaggi’s biggest career victories have come against the likes of Zab Judah, Pablo Cesar Cano, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Juan Diaz, Lovemore Ndou, and Edner Cherry. His losses as a professional were to Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Juan Diaz, Amir Khan, Adrien Broner, and Shawn Porter.
Garcia has never tasted defeat, but he was lucky to win decisions against Lamont Peterson and Mauricio Herrera. His other notable victories were against Lucas Matthysse, Zab Judah, Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Kendall Holt, and Nate Campbell.
Malignaggi is one of the best in the business at attracting attention and selling fights, and he probably peaked in 2012 when he defeated Senchenko for the WBA Welterweight Title. But Malignaggi hasn’t looked good since then and was soundly defeated by the hard hitting Shawn Porter in his last bout.
To go from getting stopped by Shawn Porter to facing the hard hitting Garcia in a short span of four months will be a tough task for Malignaggi. Garcia, however, is known for being a little flat footed in the ring and if Malignaggi can focus on staying on the outside and out boxing Garcia he’ll have a chance at the upset.
But Garcia is looking for bigger names and bigger paydays than Paulie Malignaggi, and he’ll likely try to stop him early and in convincing fashion.
Press Conf Quotes:
“We had a tremendous camp, I’ve never felt so strong in my life. For the first time in my career I can actually train to get better.
“We’re just focused on training. We did everything in camp – we even chased chickens.
“I accomplished a lot at 140-pounds and I’m going to do a lot at 147. On Saturday at Barclays Center you’re going to see a spectacular Danny Garcia.
“I want to be known as a great Philadelphia fighter and a great Puerto Rican fighter. I’m the first Puerto Rican from Philly to ever be a world champion. I have the Philly skills and toughness with the Puerto Rican blood, it’s the perfect mixture.
“I’ve watched Paulie fight my whole career. He’s a tough veteran and I’m sure he’s got some tricks up his sleeve. I just have to go in there and stick to business on Saturday night.
“Barclays Center is my home away from home. We have a nice routine when we’re in Brooklyn. We keep it simple.
“I pay attention to the positive things in my career and that’s getting in the gym and working hard and getting better. That’s my main focus.
“Everything is better at 147. I feel stronger. My form feels good. The footwork is great. I can eat regularly now. Still disciplined but it’s a lot easier.”
“For Danny’s team, it’s only about him and for me it’s all about myself. My best versus his best. This is a big opportunity from me, professionally and personally. My career started 14 years ago in Brooklyn and people think it’s going to end Saturday in Brooklyn, but I’m not letting that happen.
“It’s been an emotional camp. I find myself thrust back into the limelight of a major fight when it was least expected. The question marks and doubts come up in my mind and that’s made it emotional. I work hard every day. I’ve quietly had one of my best training camps
“There are no excuses here. Saturday night is the best of Paulie Malignaggi. I look forward to testing myself against the best Danny Garcia. I’ve always loved and relish the big names and the big opportunities.
“Sometimes I lay in bed at night thinking about matchups between fighters. Now I’m thinking of myself in that conversation and we’ll fin out on Saturday how I stack up.
“Quietly but surely, I’m very confident about Saturday night. I’m bringing my best.”