By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime networks will televise three fights from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Two titles will be on the line and the main event will feature a champion fighting in a non-title bout.
Many pundits have criticized this card for featuring severe mismatches and not being worthy of premium cable. A review of each of the six participants backgrounds reveals that the pundits appear to be right as neither of the three fights are expected to be close or competitive.
The following is a breakdown of each of the three fights that will be televised on Saturday night.
Daniel Jacobs (27-1) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (18-1); WBA “Regular” Middleweight Title
On paper this is the most competitive fight of the night, but a closer look at the background of Daniel Jacobs and Jarrod Fletcher will show there is a clear favorite, and it’s Daniel Jacobs.
Jacobs will have a two inch height advantage, a two inch reach advantage, and is three years younger than Fletcher. He also has a much deeper amateur background. Fletcher won the 2006 Commonwealth Games as a middleweight while Jacobs won the 2003 Junior Olympics National Championships, is a PAL National Champion, and won the National Golden Gloves championship twice, in two different weight classes.
Jacobs is best known for his widely publicized bout with cancer, perhaps the toughest foe of his life, but he has the skills to back up the hype.
His only loss came to Dmitry Pirog in 2010 in what many people considered an upset for the WBO Middleweight Title. Since then he has won seven fights in a row, all by stoppage. His notable victories include Giovanni Lorenzo, Josh Luteran, Milton Nunez, and Ishe Smith.
Fletcher has a good record but his only notable victory came against Max Bursak in his last bout. He took one major step up in competition against Billy Joe Saunders in September of 2012, but he was stopped in the second round of that fight.
Fletcher has ten stoppages on his record, including three of his last five bouts, but Jacobs has twenty four stoppages to his record including his past seven fights.
Jacobs should win, and win easily. A matchup with fellow Golden Boy middleweight Peter Quillin might be next for Jacobs.
Lamont Peterson (32-2) vs. Edgar Santana (29-4); IBF Junior Welterweight Title
This bout was made with the intention of matching Peterson up with Danny Garcia in the near future.
Santana is five years older than Peterson and at the age of thirty five he probably already reached his athletic peak. Both boxers are similar in height, but Peterson will have a a three and a half inch reach on him.
Peterson only has sixteen knockouts on his record and has only stopped two of his past five opponents, but Peterson is one of the best at going to the body and is excellent at wearing his opponents out. Santana has solid power, he has stopped twenty of his opponents as well as four of his past five opponents. Santana had about a three year break in his career from 2008-2011 due to criminal legal issues, but he had an active 2013 with three fights.
Peterson has the edge in amateur experience and was the 2001 National Golden Gloves Lightweight Champion.
Santana’s biggest win to date came against Josesito Lopez in 2008, but that’s the only big name victory on his opponent. What is more concerning though is that Santana’s losses have come against opposition that is not highly regarded. He lost to a seven loss Manuel Perez in February of 2012, as well as a five loss Harrison Cuello in June of 2007, and two more losses earlier in his career to opponents with .500 or lower records.
Peterson is the IBF Light Welterweight Champion despite losing to Lucas Matthysse in May of 2013. His other loss came to Timothy Bradley by a wide margin in December of 2009. His biggest victories were against Dierry Jean, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Victor Cayo, Willy Blain, and Lanardo Tyner.
Look for Peterson to wear Santana down and stop him in the later rounds. Santana has a puncher’s chance at winning, but it is a very slim chance.
Danny Garcia (28-0) vs. Rod Salka (19-3); Junior Welterweight Division
Of the three televised fights on Saturday the main event is by far the biggest mismatch.
Rod Salka is a boxer who has spent a large majority of his career fighting in the lightweight division, including his last fight. To make matters worse, Rod Salka will be competing against Danny Garcia at a weight of 142lbs, despite the fact the bout is listed as taking place in the junior welterweight division. Garcia will also have a slight height and reach advantage over Salka.
Danny Garcia has the clear edge in amateur experience. He’s a 2006 U.S. National Amateur Champion and came into the professional ranks with a considerable amount of hype.
Salka also doesn’t have the power to give him a puncher’s chance in this fight. He has only stopped three of his opponents, and only one stoppage since 2008. Garcia has sixteen stoppages to his record, including two of his past five fights.
The quality of opponents that Garcia has faced dwarfs the quality of opposition of Rod Salka. Garcia has faced and defeated the likes of Lucas Matthysse, Zab Judah, Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Kendall Holt, Nate Campbell and Mike Arnaoutis. He also beat Mauricio Herrera in his last bout, but he looked sluggish and was lucky to escape with the victory.
Rod Salka’s biggest victory to date came against Alexei Collado in his last bout in April of 2014. He holds no other notable victories. His losses have come against Ricardo Alvarez, Dorin Spivey, and Guillermo Sanchez.
This bout barely deserves an analysis; it will take a miracle for Salka to defeat Danny Garcia.