by Chris Cella
Life-long underdog Danny “Swift” Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) has faced his share of adversity inside the ring through his relatively young career, but has come out on top each time. Upon defeating Erik “El Terrible” Morales this past March and securing the vacant WBC light welterweight title, he showed the world that he belonged amongst the top 140 pounders in the world.
The Philadelphia native then went on to shock the boxing world in July when he stopped heavy favorite Amir Khan in the fourth round of their fight to unify the WBC light welterweight and WBA Super world light welterweight titles.
But when the quiet, humble 24-year-old boxer steps into Brooklyn’s brand new Barclays Center Saturday night as part of Showtime’s Championship Boxing, he will entering the rematch against Morales (52-8, 36 KOs) in reversed roles from their first fight, coming in the champion as opposed to the challenger.
“I think people are taking me more seriously now,” said Garcia. “It took some time for everyone to realize how serious I am. Then my last few fights showed them that I think and fight like a champion, which is what I am now.”
Though the road to winning the world championship has been tough, Garcia has had his father and trainer (Angel Garcia) by his side throughout the journey. The relationship between a fighter and trainer is one of the closest bonds in all of sports, for the trainer must not only work with the boxer leading up to the fight, but needs to be the eyes and ears through each round.
In his last four fights Garcia has gone to battle with four former world champions, and each fight he and his father fortified their bond inside and out of the ring.
“My dad and I have a great relationship,” said Garcia. “I know he loves me and has my best interest at heart. We believed when I started boxing at 10 years old that I could be a world champion and our dream came true. We have a relationship without conflict. He is my best friend and sure, we bump heads, but we always work it out. We understand each other really well and that helps a lot.”
Saturday night, Danny Garcia will be bestowing the same trust in his father as he has through the first 24 fights of his professional career, with this bout being the biggest test to date. Both father and son know that Morales is going to be coming out of the gate looking to make a statement and avenge the loss earlier in the year.
Garcia has the tools and the knowledge to go out there and fight his way to defending his unified title; it is just a matter of executing between the ropes.
“Erik Morales is a legend and in the first fight, I probably gave him more respect that I should have,” said Garcia. “Last time I stood in front of him too long and let him think. I can’t let him think. I want to go in there and destroy him.”
The world championship night of boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will take place this Saturday, October 20. The Showtime Championship Boxing telecast begins live at 8 p.m. Eastern, with an action packed fight card consisting of four world championship bouts.