What’s Next For Mikey Garcia?
By: Hans Themistode
Coming into his Welterweight showdown against Jessie Vargas, Mikey Garcia was tasked with what many could consider the biggest fight of his career. It isn’t because Vargas is the most accomplished or the most dangerous, but more so because of what took place one short year ago.
For the first time in the career of Garcia he tasted defeat at the hands of current unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Garcia didn’t just lose, but he was thoroughly dominated. For as great as Garcia is, the Welterweight division just seemed like it was too much for him.
Everyone who doubted his decision to remain at the weight class was quickly proven wrong as he made it look easy against former two division world champion Jessie Vargas. Now that Garcia has proven that he has what it takes to contend with the big boys of the division, who should he take on next? Keep reading to find out.
If it seems as though a contest between Manny Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia has been discussed for years, that’s because it has. The two pound-for-pound stars have always hovered around the same weight class but a contest between them has never been seriously in negotiations. Now that they are officially in the same weight class, a match between them seems inevitable. Following Garcia’s win over Vargas, he wasted little time calling out the future hall of famer. “I think I’m ready to get back in with the best. I want Manny Pacquiao.”
At this point, what are we waiting for? Let’s make the fight happen.
A Garcia vs Garcia match might be a bit confusing during the promotion, but in the ring, it should provide fans with a great contest. Even with his big win against Vargas, there are some that are still skeptical on whether or not Mikey is a big time player in the Welterweight division. If he wants to end all doubts, then a fight against former two division world champion Danny Garcia would go a long way towards that.
At the moment, both Mikey and Danny are in consideration for a bout against Manny Pacquiao. If neither one is chosen then they should turn their attention towards one another.
Unlike most of the top Welterweights, Mikey Garcia has no contractual obligations with anyone. In essence, he’s a free agent. He can fight whomever he wants, whenever he wants without nagging promotional issues.
For years WBO Welterweight titlist Terence Crawford has been considered the best fighter in the world, but his resume leaves much to be desired. During Garcia’s post fight presser, he did mention an interest in taking on Crawford. If this is the truth, then Crawford should jump at the opportunity to face a legit fighter for a change.
Mikey Garcia Defeats Jessie Vargas, Chocolatito Stops Khalid Yafa
By: Rich Lopez
A full house of 10,000 fans were on hand at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Matchroom Boxing presented a stacked card that streamed seven fights on DAZN. The main event and the two world title fights on the card were expected to be action packed fights on paper. It turned out to be just that.
In the main event, Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KO’s) was successful this time around at his second fight as a welterweight. He won the vacant WBC Diamond Welterweight Title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KO’s). The opening round was a good round for Vargas. He used the jab well throughout the round. He also landed good right hands and left hooks on Garcia. Round two was another good round for Vargas. He was landing good jabs and right hands. Garcia was moving forward but he was not letting his hands go. Things heated up in round three. Garcia came forward with hard jabs but Vargas landed hard jabs as well. Garcia was able to land a right hand to the head of Vargas but Vargas counter back with a left hook to the jaw of Garcia. There was good action from both fighters in round four. Vargas was still effective with the jab. In round five, Garcia finally picked up the pace and landed a right hand that hurt Vargas. Then Garcia landed a perfect right hand on the jaw of Vargas that dropped him. Vargas got up and Garcia went for the finish but Vargas survived the round. Garcia continued to stay busy in round six, while Vargas was still trying to recover. In round seven, Garcia had a good round backing up Vargas with his left jab and landing straight right hands. A hard right hand from Garcia hurt Vargas at the end of the round. The pace slowed down in round eight but it was still a good round for Garcia. Vargas looked more tired.
In round nine, Garcia slowed his pace as Vargas came forward. Garcia still out landedVargas in the round. Vargas showed toughness in round ten. He fought better and backed up Garcia. Garcia still landed the better combinations of the two fighters in the round. Vargas had a good comeback in round eleven. He did a better job of pushing back Garcia while Garcia was less active. In the final round, both fighters gave a strong finish and the round was close. At the end, the final scores were 114-113, 116-111 (twice) all for Garcia.
Vargas had a great start to the fight. Garcia who’s known as a slow-started picked up the pace and took over the fight. Vargas came back a little in the late rounds but it was not enough. It was a solid win for Garcia but he had a tough fight. Vargas was as tough as they come. What’s next for both fighters? For Garcia, he will stay in the welterweight division as he defeated a solid welterweight and the bigger fights are there for him. Like the broadcasters mentioned, a potential fight with Manny Pacquiaowould be more suitable for Garcia. For Vargas, expect him to see him in another big fight as he always puts a good outing.
In the co-feature, former pound for pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KO’s) came back to regain his crown. He won the WBA World Super Flyweight Title by a ninth round TKO over Khalid Yafai (26-1, 15 KO’s). Both fighters got to a good start in the opening round. Yafai started to box well using his jab and landing quick combinations. Gonzalez started his body attack towards the end of the round. Round two was a good round for Gonzalez. Yafai stayed in theinside with Gonzalez and traded with him. Gonzalez worked well to the body and landed a good right hand on Yafai. Gonzalez also landed a left uppercut that bothered Yafai. In round three, Yafai stood his ground and traded with Gonzalez. He landed more punches in the round but Gonzalez was also landing good shots as well. Twice in the round, the mouthpiece came out of Yafai during exchanges. Gonzalez picked up the attack in round four. He landed good combinations to the head and body of Yafai. Gonzalez mixed his attack with hooks and uppercuts. Gonzalez kept his relentless attack in round five. Gonzalez ripped shots to the head and body of Yafai. Yafai was forced to hold at one point due to the accumulation of punches. Gonzalez kept his high work rate in round six. Yafai stood and traded with Gonzalez but he was wearing out. Gonzalez got cut on his right eye by a clash of heads in the round. In round seven, Gonzalez was backing up Yafai. Gonzalez continued his onslaught and Yafai looked very fatigued. Yafai then decided to trade with Gonzalez in the eighth round. However, Gonzalez outworked him with combinations. He landed a right hand that snapped Yafai’s head back. Then a barrage of punches dropped Yafai. Yafai managed to get up and finish the round. In round nine, Gonzalez landed a huge right hand on the chin of Yafaithat dropped him on his back. The referee started the count but then waived off the fight after Yafai could not continue. The stoppage occurred at 29 seconds of the ninth round.
Yafai decided to take advantage of his size and trade shots with the smaller Gonzalez. Yafai had some success early on but fought Gonzalez’s fight. The question of whether Gonzalez was finished was answered quickly. Gonzalez showed why he is oneof the true greats in boxing and is now a world champion again. The super flyweight division is stacked. The most attractive fight for Gonzalez would be a rematch between him and Juan Francisco Estrada. Gonzalez defeated Estrada back in 2012. Now, Estrada is the Lineal champion of the division. The rematch would be a great fight. As for Yafai, he can take the loss as a learning lesson and bounce back from it. He showed a lot of heart and the willingness to go toe to toe with the dangerousGonzalez.
In an entertaining fight, Julio César Martinez (16-1, 12 KO’s) retained his WBC World Flyweight Title by a twelve round unanimous decision over Jay Harris (17-1, 9 KO’s). In the opening round, Harris got off to a good start by establishing hisjab. Martinez close the gap landing combinations to the head of Harris. Harris had a good round two. He landed good righthands to the head of Martinez. Martinez closed the round with a quick right hook. There were good combinations from both fighters in round three. Harris landed quick straight punches to the head of Martinez while Martinez landed good body punches on Harris. Round four was a good action round. Harris continued with straight punches to the head of Martinez. Martinez fired back with hard body shots. The pace was relentless from both fighters in round five. Martinez got the better of the exchanges and continued his body attack. Harris had a good comeback in round six. He landed the better punches in the round while Martinez was still working the body of Harris. In round seven, Martinez started fast with a right hand that hurt Harris. Martinez then got inside and worked the body of Harris. Harris finished the round strong with good combinations to the head and body of Martinez. The pace slowed down a little bit in round eight. Harris displayed quick combinations to the head of Martinez. The action picked backed up in round nine. Martinez got off with quick combinations to the head and body. Harris stood his ground though and fought back. In the opening of round ten, Martinez caught Harris with a left hook and then a right hook to the body that put him down. Harris got up and did an excellent job fighting back in the round,even though he was hurt. Round eleven was a good round for Harris as he boxed and moved well. The final round was a slower pace for both fighters. The action picked up at the end. Both fighters closed the show at the end with both of them throwing a barrage of punches at each other. At the end, the final scores were 118-109, 116-111, and 115-112 all for Martinez.
Once again Martinez did not disappoint. He provided another thrilling fight for the fans and showed why he is one of the most action packed fighters to watch. Martinez made the first successful defense of his title. Now, it will be time for Martinez to unify with the other belt holders of the division. As for Jay Harris, he looked great and he gave a good account of himself. He went toe to toe with Martinez taking the fight to distance. We will see Harris again soon.
Former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (27-2, 21 KO’s) was successful in his return. He TKO Shawndell Terell Winters (13-3, 12 KO’s) in the fifth round. Parker started off fast in the opening round and threw hard jabs to back off Winters. Towards the end of the round, Parker landed a good left hook on Winters. In round two, Parker had another good round. He backed up Winters to the ropes with stiff jabs and straight right hands. Parker continued landing hard right hands on Winters in round three. A huge right hand from Parker dropped Winters towards the end of the round. Winters got up and survived the round. In round four, Parker pushed back Winters. However, Wintersfought well in the round. Parker suffered a cut on his right eye from a left hook from Winters. In round five, Winters started strong and came forward. Parker then landed a hard right hand that hurt Winters. Parker followed it up with a three punch combination. A right hand, left hook, and a right hand that dropped Winters again. Winters managed to get up but was out of it. The referee called the fight off at 2:40 of round five.
Parker did what he was supposed to do and stopped his opponent. It was a good comeback fight for Parker. Look to see him next in a more significant fight next.
Decorated amateur Israil Madrimov (5-0, 5 KO’s) continued his knockout streak. He scored a TKO in the sixth round over Charlie Navarro (29-10, 22 KO’s) in a super welterweight bout. In the opening round, Madrimov showed a little bit of everything. He boxed well moving side to side. He landed right hands to the head and straight punches to the body of Navarro. In round two, Madrimov landed a left hook that buzzed Navarro. In round three, Navarro was concentrating on landing a counter punch on Madrimov but was not able to do it. Madrimov did a good job landing straight body punches on Navarro. Madrimovlooked for the knockout in round four. He landed a right hand that hurt Navarro. Then he threw left hooks to the body and head of Navarro. Navarro looked like he was ready to go but he hung in tough. In round five, Navarro landed a good counter punch to the body of Madrimov but it was his only moment. Madrimovtook over the round and landing combinations. Madrimovcontinued his onslaught in round six. He went to the body of Navarro which paid off. He landed a left hook to the body that dropped Navarro. Navarro was tough and gamed as he got up. Madrimov went after him and landed a right hand to the head. Navarro fell down and the referee called the fight off. The stoppage came at 2:24 of round six.
In the super middleweight division, Diego Pacheco (9-0, 7 KO’s) stayed undefeated and dominated Oscar Riojas (21-13-1, 10 KO’s) to earn a six round unanimous decision. Riojas came out being the aggressor in the opening round while Pacheco was keeping his distance. Then Pacheco came forward and landed right hands to the head of Riojas. In round two, Pacheco continued to hit Riojas with hard right hands to the head. Riojas was reaching with his punches on the taller Pacheco but could not land anything significant. Pacheco continued to stay busy in round three. Riojas showed a good chin but was still having a hard time getting inside. Pacheco kept the pressure in round four and Riojas kept backing up. In round five, Riojas started the round coming forward and he threw a few hooks to the body but nothing landed. Pacheco landed a hard right hand that stunned Riojas. In the final round, Pacheco landed a huge right hand that wobbled Riojas. Pacheco went for the finish and landed combinations to the head of Riojas but he survived the round. The final scores were 60-54, all for Pacheco.
In the opening bout of the DAZN telecast, Alexis Espino (6-0, 4 KO’s) remained undefeated. He defeated Delvecchio Savage (3-6-1, 3 KO’s) by a six round unanimous decision in a super middleweight contest. The opening round was a feel out round. It was a close round where Savage landed a nice straight left hand on Espino and then Espino landed a good left hook on Savage. Espino opened up more in round two and he landed the more and effective punches in the round. Espino used his jab very well. Espino had a good round three. He landed good jabs and right hands on the head of Savage. Round four was a good action round. Espino landed good body punches in the round and also landed good uppercuts. Savage showed a good effort fighting back but Espino landed the better punches. In round five, Espino let his combinations go to the head and body of Savage. Savage was tired and bloodied but fought back in spots. In the final round, Espino threw all the power shots and went for the knockout. Savage showed toughness and fought back. Espino continued with hard body shots and uppercuts on Savage. The final scores were 60-54, 59-55 (twice), all for Espino.
Mikey Garcia Plans to “Display All Skills” in Upcoming Contest Against Jessie Vargas
By: Hans Themistode
It was his dream scenario. A chance to prove that he didn’t just belong amongst the best in the world, but that he deserved to be above them.
For Mikey Garcia, he had everything waiting in front of him. The fame, recognition and money were just one win away. Attaining that win turned out to be a major problem as he ran into, Errol Spence Jr.
The now unified Welterweight champ dominated Garcia from the moment the bell rang for their March 16th, contest in Arlington Texas at the AT&T Stadium. When that match was first announced, many believed that Garcia made an appointment with death. Not only was Spence a devastating puncher, but he was also two divisions above Garcia’s natural weight class.
Still, none of that discouraged Garcia from taking on the challenge. Surprisingly, many gave Garcia a chance to pull off the upset. Consider it a testament to the greatness of Garcia.
The storylines of this huge contest were set. If Spence was going to win, it was going to be by stoppage. If things were going to play in the favor of Garcia, then he simply needed to outbox the bigger man. Those opinions never came to fruition as instead, Garcia was out boxed, outclassed and lost every single round. And no, that isn’t hyperbole. Not one single judge scored a round in the favor of Garcia.
It was a bad night for Garcia to say the least, but that hasn’t changed his interest in capturing a world title in his fifth weight class.
This coming Saturday night, the four division world champion will take on fellow multiple division world champion Jessie Vargas at The Ford Center at The Star, in Frisco Texas. The card is loaded from top to bottom with another championship fight in the co main event as IBF Super Flyweight champion Khalid Gonzalez takes on former pound-for-pound Star Roman Gonzalez. That bout, coupled with several former champions on the undercard has shaped this into one of the best cards of the year.
The Texas based card might be a star studded lineup, but Garcia simply wants to remind everyone that it is his name that is headlining the show.
“This is my first time working together with DAZN and it’s been great,” said Garcia during their final press conference. “This is a tremendous card, a stacked card with world championship fights. I’m here to do one thing and take over the show – there’s a lot more to Mikey Garcia. I’m going to display all my skills and be a contender in the welterweight division. We landed on Vargas because he’s a two-weight champion, solid career, big size, and has height. He’s everything that people have been telling me I shouldn’t be fighting, but I’m going to do everything I can to win this fight. I expect the best Jessie Vargas and that will allow to me display all my skills. I don’t want easy fights. This will be a great matchup because Jessie is a warrior. It will push me to get the best out of me.”
For Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs), this could be his last chance to prove himself as a viable contender at the 147 pound division. With Garcia and Vargas possessing one of the more relaxed demeanors in the entire sport of boxing, it came as no surprise to hear both men compliment one another.
Still, regardless of the compliments Garcia wants to prove to everyone that his audacious decision to stay in a weight class that could prove to be too big for him, is the correct decision.
“Jessie is a great person, but inside the ring we’re competitors. He’s coming to knock me out, and I’m trying to doing the same, but that will make it a memorable night. Tune-in to DAZN, it’s going to be fireworks all night long. We’re going to finish it off with bang, Jessie and myself. There’s a lot more to Mikey Garcia.”
Fight Preview: Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas
By: Rich Lopez
After the big heavyweight showdown this past weekend between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, our focus will be in the welterweight division this Saturday. DAZN will be streaming a huge fight card at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The main event will be a clash of former world champions between Mikey Garcia and Jessie Vargas. The undercard will also feature two world title fights and a return of a top heavyweight contender.
The main event will be for the vacant WBC Diamond Welterweight Title. Former four weight division champion Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KO’s) of Moreno Valley, California, will square off with former two weight division champion Jessie “The Pride of Las Vegas” Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KO’s) of Las Vegas, Nevada. Garcia, who has won titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140, moved up to the welterweight division last year. In an effort to win a title in a fifth weight division, he fought one of the best welterweights in Errol Spence Jr. Garcia ended up losing a lopsided twelve round unanimous decision but in a gutsy effort. With almost a year off, Garcia is back and ready to make another attempt at a world title in the welterweight division. First, he needs to get by the tough Jessie Vargas. Vargas who has won titles at 140 and 147, is looking for a major title shot himself. Since losing his WBO World Welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao in 2016, he has gone 2-0-2 in his last four fights. Both fighters are looking for a big win this weekend. Garcia is the favorite to win the fight as he is the more superior boxer. Vargas on the other hand is the natural bigger fighter between the two. You would have to think that Vargas has more to lose in this fight than Garcia. If Vargas loses, this can set his career back and further away from a title shot. If Garcia loses, he will be reminded to move back down to 140 or 135 where he is at his best. Expect an entertaining fight between two boxer punchers that love to mix it up.
One of the most intriguing fights on the undercard will be the co-feature in the super flyweight division. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (48-2, 40 KO’s) of Nicaragua, is back for another chance to become a world champion again. Gonzalez, who was a four weight division champion, was once heralded as the pound for pound king. In 2017, Gonzalez lost back to back fights against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai which set him back to the point that some critic’s think he is not the same fighter anymore. That can change on Saturday with a win but it won’t be easy. His challenger is WBA World Super Flyweight Champion Khalid Yafai (26-0, 15 KO’s) of the United Kingdom. Yafai, who was a decorated amateur, won the world title in 2016. He has made five successful title defenses and now will be looking for his sixth title defense. Yafai is a good boxer with speed and good foot work. However, he still needs a signature win and a win over Gonzalez would do it. This will be an interesting fight with a contrast in styles. Yafai will look to box and move while the aggressive Gonzalez will be coming forward. Will Yafai breakthrough as the new star in the division or does Gonzalez have another big win left in him?
The other world title fight on the undercard is in the flyweight division. WBC World Flyweight Champion Julio Cesar “El Rey” Martinez (15-1, 12 KO’s) of Mexico, will be making his second defense of the title. He will face off with Jay Harris (17-0, 9 KO’s) of the United Kingdom. Martinez, who lost his professional debut in 2015 by split decision has won fifteen fights straight since then. Last year, Martinez was on his way to stopping Charlie Edwards in a WBC title fight, but the fight was ruled a no contest. Martinez unintentionally hit Edwards while he was down. However, Martinez ended the year winning the vacant WBC title with a stoppage victory over former world champion Cristopher Rosales in the ninth round. Martinez is one of most exciting world champions today. He has a fan friendly style and he likes to mix his punches to the body and head. In addition, Martinez has a unique style of switching stances while he attacks. Harris is a fast fighter and likes to throw combinations. The undefeated Welshmen is a skilled boxer and is looking for the upset come Saturday night. Can Harris dethrone the hard punching Martinez or will Martinez add another stoppage victory to his resume? Based on styles, this should be an action packed fight.
Also on the undercard, former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (26-2, 20 KO’s) of New Zealand, makes his return. He will face off with Shawndell Terell Winters (13-2, 12 KO’s) of Harvey, Illinois. Parker was scheduled for a showdown with Dereck Chisora back in October of last year. However, an illness prevented Parker to move forward with the fight. Parker’s last fight was in June of last year when he stopped Alex Leapai in the tenth round. Parker is aiming for another title shot but needs to shake off some rust and is taking a warm up fight against Winters.
Also there will be other undefeated prospects being showcased on the card like Alexis Espino (5-0, 4 KO’s), Diego Pacheco (8-0, 7 KO’s) and Israil Madrimov (4-0, 4 KO’s).
The card is stacked and it should be a fun filled night of action.
Can Mikey Garcia Overcome the Odds Even Though He is a Big Odds Favorite
By: Jeffrey Drake
On February 29, 2020, former four weight division world champion Mikey Garcia will be facing former two weight division world champion Jessie Vargas. This welterweight fight is at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas on DAZN and should have a great atmosphere. Mikey Garcia was widely regarded as a top five pound for pound fighter prior to his fight with current IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. A natural 135-pound fighter, Mikey called out Errol Spence Jr for a long period of time before the fight was made. The boxing public felt Mikey was too small and to take on arguably the welterweight king in your first fight at 147 pounds would be too much. March 16th, 2019 was the date Mikey not only took his first loss, but the first time he was not competitive in a fight.
This Saturday, Mikey Garcia a 6 to 1 favorite, will be making his unofficial welterweight debut. Many odds stand in front of Mikey Garcia prior to even facing Jessie Vargas. The jump from basically 135 to 147 pounds is a big jump. We have watched many fighters make that transition with mixed results. The one famous name that comes to mind who made that weight jump is Adrien Broner. As talented as Broner is, the consensus is he was not the same fighter and took several losses after making the jump to welterweight. Will Mikey power transfer to welterweight? Will he have slower hand and foot speed? Will he be gun shy after taking a sustained beating from Errol Spence Jr? Will he be able to handle the pressure of performing knowing a possible big money fight with all-time great Manny Pacquiao could be next? These are all legitimate questions and we haven’t even talked about his very capable opponent Jessie Vargas.
Jessie Vargas has fought the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner, Timothy Bradley, Sadam Ali amongst other good opponents throughout his career. Jessie has been fighting at welterweight for over four years. Even though he has never been mentioned pound for pound like Mikey Garcia, he has accomplished a lot throughout his career. On Saturday, Jessie should be the bigger fighter, fighting at his natural weight class and with less overall pressure. Yet, Mikey Garcia is still the heavy favorite to win this fight. The boxing community, fans and odds makers are betting that Mikey Garcia will do what we expect every great fighter to do and that is to overcome all odds and win. Let’s find out if Mikey Garcia is still that special or if Jessie Vargas has been disrespected and will get the biggest victory of his career.
Ryan Garcia: “Jorge Linares is My Next Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
It was the worst kept secret in boxing, but undefeated Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia will make a huge step up in class as he takes on former three division champion Jorge Linares. In terms of who broke the news, it was none other than Ryan Garcia himself.
“Jorge Linares is my next fight on July 11 at the Staples Center,” said Ryan Garcia on social media in announcing his next fight. “Share it with your friends. Support me on my journey and quest to shock the world.”
Although Garcia is correct in terms of who his next opponent will be, the actual fight will more than likely fall on another date as the Staples is currently completely booked on July 11th.
As previously mentioned, Linares will represent the best opponent that Garcia has ever stepped inside of the ring with. The now 21 year old Garcia has been progressing through his career at a slow but consistent rate. Facing slightly better opposition each and every time he has stepped foot inside of the ring.
Since joining trainer Eddy Reynoso, who is best known for his work with pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez, Garcia has looked like an entirely different fighter. The pair have strung together four straight knockout wins. Including the last two coming in the very first round.
Garcia (21-0, 17 KOs) has been very good throughout his career, but the now 34 year old Jorge Linares has been great.
It wasn’t that long ago that the former three division world champion went undefeated for six straight years. During that run, he defeated a long list of contenders including Kevin Mitchell and Luke Campbell while also defeating former champion Anthony Crolla.
For all the skills that Linares has put on display throughout his career, he has always been viewed as a bit of an underachiever. Yet, his 2018 contest against Vasiliy Lomachenko, the man many believe is the best fighter in the world, put an end to that storyline.
Linares gave Lomachenko what many believe was the toughest fight of his career. He may have come out on the losing end of it, but his stock soared.
After a failed jump up to the Super Lightweight division, Linares has picked up two quality wins and now looks to add Garcia to his potential hall of fame resume.
Many would consider this a difficult fight for both men. And since Linares is 34 and seemingly out of his prime, all signs point to Garcia pulling off the victory. Well, after the statement that Linares made just a few months ago, you might want to rethink that.
“This time how many round you can do?” Said Linares on his social media account a few months ago. “Because I remember that you could only do some round when we sparred. And can you win 3 world belts? You have to stop talking so much and fight.”
It seems as though Garcia has decided to take the advice of Linares to stop talking and simply fight.
What’s Next for Ryan Garcia?
By: Hans Themistode
Ryan Garcia has seemingly gone from prospect to contender.
This past weekend, Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) showed the world that he might be ready for another step forward in his career. His contest against Francisco Fonseca was supposed to end in a victory, but not in the way that it actually happened.
Garcia blew his man away with the very first punch that he landed. It was in many ways reminiscent of his performance against Romero Duno.
Garcia seems to be finally living up to the hype that has been surrounding his career since he first stepped on the scene four years ago. Everyone, including his promoter Oscar De La Hoya and good friend and superstar boxer, Canelo Alvarez, believe that Ryan Garcia is ready for the next step.
So let’s take a look at the next best opponents for Garcia to face next.
In the landscape of the Lightweight division, former Featherweight champion Lee Selby seems to be the forgotten man. Since losing his world titles to Josh Warrington back in 2015, he hasn’t been seen much.
You know the saying right? Out of sight, out of mind.
Well, since Selby has been out of sight from the public, he has also been erased from their minds as well.
Selby (28-2, 9 KOs) isn’t exactly the biggest name in the division but he certainly is one of the most skillful.
At this point, Selby must be chomping at the bit for a big fight. Needless to say, so is Ryan Garcia. Selby was last seen in the ring scraping by former champion Ricky Burns. That win did nothing for his profile. It might be unlikely, but if Selby can position himself for a contest against Garcia, the fans could see their favorite young star pushed to the edge.
Many of you were probably expecting to see former WBC Lightweight champion Devin Haney in this spot. The fact of the matter is, it is far too early in both fighters’ careers for it to take place now.
Garcia more than likely isn’t going to be matched up against Haney just yet. But he can still look towards a fight with another former world champion. Richard Commey. The former IBF belt holder needs a win.
Commey’s last ring appearance was one he would soon like to forget. It took just two rounds before he was seen laying flat on the canvas. He is a much better fighter than what he showed against Teofimo Lopez. Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) needs redemption, and Garcia needs a big name win on his resume. So in essence, they both need each other.
The sport of boxing isn’t just about matching up the best against the best. Often times there is a storyline underneath. In the case of former multiple division world champion Jorge Linares and his young counterpart Ryan Garcia, these two are on a collision course.
There’s a reason why both men fought on the same card this past weekend.
The reason? That’s an easy one.
To draw interest for a potential showdown between them.
With each fighter not only winning but doing so in spectacular fashion, it made this contest all but next for both men.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya also seems to have a target date in mind as well.
“I believe that if Linares wins tonight and Garcia wins tonight then it is a clash of titans,” said De La Hoya before Linares and Garcia entered the ring on Friday night. “I have already reserved the Staples Center for July so let’s see what happens.”
Well, with Linares and Garcia doing exactly what De La Hoya was hoping for, it seems like this one could and should be next.
Ryan Garcia Decimates Francisco Fonseca In Frightening Fashion
By: Sean Crose
The DAZN streaming service presented a live night of Golden Boy Boxing from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California Friday featuring rising lightweight star Ryan Garcia.
A power punching 19-0 fighter with a reported five million person Instagram following, Garcia was the man to watch walking in. Meanwhile the 25-2-2 Francisco Fonseca stood in the 21 year old Garcia’s way on the path to big time success. In fact, it was worth noting that Foncesca’s only losses came to top names Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer. It was not as if the up and coming Garcia was being handed a soft touch.
First, however, there were three fights for viewers to watch leading into the main event. The 13-0 showman Blair “The Flair” Cobbs started things off in a scheduled ten rounder against the 23-2 Samuel Kotey. Cobbs, sharp and fluid, dominated the first three rounds. The crowd may have gotten a bit restless due to Cobb’s ability to maintain distance, but the young fighter was putting on a sharp performance. Although Kotey tried to catch his man, Cobbs was able to keep his veteran foe at bay throughout the next five rounds. Cobbs lost a point for a low blow in the ninth, but performed well enough in the tenth and final chapter. Cobbs walked away with a SD win.
The next fight was a scheduled 10 round welterweight affair. Veteran Brad Solomon, 28-2, faced the 15-0 up and comer Alex Rocha. Although Rocha was viewed as the rising star, the beginning of the fight was surprisingly close. By the third it was clear Rocha was having a hard time getting to his man with any consistency. Things remained close through the halfway part of the bout. By the final rounds it looked as if it could be anyone’s fight. It was a story of punches and counter punches. Then, in the tenth round, Rocha sent his man to the canvas. Solomon got up and survived, but it seemed that Rocha had ultimately done enough to seal the deal. Rocha got quite a surprisingly wide UD win.
Former world lightweight titlist Jorge Linares was up next. At 34 years of age, the 46-5 fighter stepped into the ring to face the 19-4-4 Carlos Morales in a scheduled twelve round bout. Morales seemed to have edged the first, a round where Linares received an accidental cut. Things remained relatively close in the second. Then, in the third, Linares sent his man down to the mat. Morales got up and was able to survive the round. No matter. A thunderous shot put Morales down – and out – in the fourth. It was time for the main event.
The feature fight of the evening was a frightening affair. For, in the very first round, Garcia dropped his man. Then, after Fonseco got up, Garcia dropped him again in explosive fashion. The camera held on Fonseca, who lie there unconscious with his eyes open, as the referee stopped the match.
Ryan Garcia Looks To Impress On Golden Boy Card
“There will be blood,” the LA Times quotes 19-0 Ryan Garcia as saying in the leadup to Friday’s fight against the 25-2-2 Francisco Fonseca. Garcia is clearly a fighter on the rise, one Golden Boy Promotions hopes to showcase for maximum benefit. Just 21 years old, the youthful looking Garcia takes extremely well to media attention and is gunning to be one of the next big names in boxing. His match against Fonseca will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service and will go down at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. A huge Instagram star with 5 million followers, Garcia is a fighter who can potentially bring a lot of eyeballs to the sport.
Before being coronated as the next big thing, however, the Los Angeles native will have to get past the 25 year old Fonseca, of Managua, Nicaragua. Although he doesn’t have Garcia’s high knockout ratio, Fonseca has only lost to two of the more notable names in the business – Gervonta Davis, and Tevin Farmer, respectively. Stopping Garcia dead in his tracks on the road to stardom would definitely do wonders for Fonseca’s own career, something the close to thirty fight veteran is clearly aware of.
The Garcia-Fonseca match will be for Garcia’s WBC silver world lightweight title.
Former world lightweight titlist Jorge Linares will also be featured on the card. The 46-5 Venezuelan will be facing the 19-4-4 Carlos Morales. At 34 years of age, Linares – who once dropped Vasyl Lomachneko in a match Lomachenko eventually won – clearly wants to show that he’s still a top player in the game. Should he win, a fight with Garcia might be in Linares’ future. Morales, on the other hand, is looking at the chance of a lifetime. Should he beat the well regarded Linares, the 30 year old known as “The Solution” might find himself on a career upswing after fighting Mercito Gesta to a draw last November.
Rising welterweight Alexis Rocha will appear on Friday’s card, as well. The 15-0 Irvine, California native will be facing 28-2 veteran Brad Solomon. At 36 years of age, Solomon has a chance to turn some heads if he beats the 22 year old climber Rocha. The fact that Solomon’s last fight saw him losing to Vergil Ortiz by knockout would make an upset win on Friday even more impressive. With that in mind, it’s Rocha who is currently being guided through the ranks in the hopes of the southpaw eventually reaching the pinnacle of the game.
Rocha-Solomon is scheduled for 10 rounds. Garcia-Fonseca, and Linares-Morales are scheduled for 12.
What’s Next For Danny Garcia?
By: Hans Themistode
Danny Garcia may have been out of the ring for nine months but he didn’t show any sort of ring rust as he made it look easy against Ivan Redkach. The two squared off at Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York this past Saturday night.
It wasn’t much of a contest as Redkach was thoroughly dominated. Now that Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) has gotten his tune up out of the way, he’ll be getting a big fight in his next ring outing.
One of these men who we will reveal below will be next for Garcia without a doubt.
Errol Spence Jr
Ivan Redkach may have been the one standing across the ring from Garcia last night, but it was actually supposed to be against unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs). Spence of course, suffered a horrific car accident which sidelined him. In his first television interview, Spence made it clear that he did not want any tune up fights and instead, wanted to jump straight into a tough matchup with Garcia. Is that a smart choice?
Well, if you have any time, look up the footage of the wreck that Spence got into late last year and you make the decision. Look, if Spence believes he’s ready for a clash with Garcia next, then what are we waiting for? Let’s make that contest happen next.
He might be 40 years of age but Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) just isn’t slowing down. It doesn’t even make sense at this point. Pacquiao spent his 2019 beating down Adrien Broner and followed that up by dropping and outpointing Keith Thurman. The latter resulted in Pacquiao walking away with the WBA title. A matchup with Pacquiao would be a huge one for Garcia.
Forget about him winning another world title but take a look at the whole picture. Garcia has put together one helluva resume. If Garcia decided to hang up his gloves for good, he would be considered on the brink of hall of fame status. Well, a win over Pacquiao would officially push him over the edge. The fight in itself would be a great one for the fans as both fighters come to fight.
When the two matched up back in 2017, history was made. They both walked in undefeated and gave the fans a real show. Garcia left with the first loss of his career but you could argue that he should have gotten the nod.
Their first contest may have taken place over two years ago but Garcia and most notably his father, Angel, want to run it back.
“We want the rematch badly with Thurman,” said Angel.
If Garcia isn’t able to land Pacquiao or Spence then a rematch with Thurman would be the best way to go.
Danny Garcia Decisions Ivan Redkach, Eyes Fight with Spence or Pacquiao
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
On Saturday, former champion Danny Garcia was clearly levels above his opponent as he pummeled Ivan Redkach over the full 12 rounds, walking away the winner of a wide unanimous-decision victory at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Garcia’s adopted home.
Garcia (36-2, 21 KO), competing before a partisan Brooklyn crowd for the eighth time, got off to a great start whipping around Redkach, who had some bite to him (actually gnawing at Garcia’s shoulder in the ninth round) before cooling off down the stretch, scoring no knockdowns, making for a performance equal parts dominant and underwhelming, winning 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110, to set the stage for a megafight, possibly against Errol Spence or Manny Pacquiao.
“I thought the referee was going to stop it,” Garcia, fooling no-one, told Showtime correspondent Jim Gray. “I was punishing him—I wanted to get the KO.” More importantly, Gray couldn’t let him go without asking to confirm if Redkach bite him.
Garcia explained, “He bit me… [Redkach] said ‘Mike Tyson’ when he bit me. That’s my first time ever getting bite in a fight.”
Coming off that upset over Devon Alexander, enjoying new KO power at welterweight, Tyson-esque biting wasn’t the kind of savagery Redkach’s handlers thought he would be able to offer Garcia. Instead he opened the contest experimenting with long body jabs. Garcia routinely parried his opponent’s offense and tagged Redkach with one-twos to dissuade the tactic.
Redkach’s left hand did come flying toward Garcia in the second frame. With little zip behind them, and Garcia being the natural counterpuncher he is, the crowd favorite threw light jabs right back at Redkach, curving over the Ukrainian’s extended arm.
Asserting his will, Garcia pulled away from Redkach. His combos and powerpunching were too much. He expertly stalked Redkach in the third round, baiting him to attack, before exploding into dipping, winging right and left hooks.
Garcia’s mixed up his punch selection and, better, his points of entry. Moving diagonally to his right, Garcia touched Redkach lightly upstairs with a right hand before immediately turning the same hand over into a body punch. Timing incoming hooks from Redkach, and won the quick exchanges with left hooks of his own. By and by, Redkach was a sitting duck, open to absorb sweeping shots from Garcia to end of the sixth stanza.
Redkach was just not a threat by the midway point of the 12-round contest. His output so low, Garcia at times fired four consecutive uppercuts. Eventually a heavy right hand from Garcia buckled Redkach’s knees at the end of Round 7. The bell rank and Redkach turned toward the camera to reveal ruddiness outlying his left eye, including above his eyebrow.
Garcia’s two-fisted waves coincided with long stretches of inactivity from Redkach: too busy sticking his hands up to returning anything of note. There was a quick consultation with the doctor before the ninth inning. But Redkach was thrown back out there to be on the receiving end of Garcia’s patented, no-look hooks, catapulting the bricks from seemingly across the ring.
Redkach antics mounted. He gave Garcia a nibble and afterwards repeatedly stuck out his tongue at Garcia, but using his hands to wrap up his assailant, not return fire, as punches reigned down on him. Garcia was unbothered, resuming his lunging haymakers.
The eleventh round, though, saw Garcia’s little tenacity dissipate. Here on out, through the final round, Redkach demonstrated more bounce to his step with fewer raging fists coming his way. He tossed out left hands, making little contact, but simply happy to see Garcia recoil and take a step backwards.
Garcia was still far and away ahead of his man in the final CompuBox totals. He connected on 195 of 568 total punches (34 percent), compared to Redkach’s landing 88 of 578 (15 percent).
This makes two wins in a row for Garcia since dropping a decision to Shawn Porter. A long stint in the pound-for-pound ranks, and domain over the junior welterweight division, far behind him, greater splendor could be his with a successful showdown against Spence or Pacquiao.
Which one exactly doesn’t seem to matter to Garcia.
“Either or,” he said after the fight. “Either of those fights I would like to have. I think my style fits great with both fighters.”
Jarret Hurd (24-1, 16 KO) def. Francisco Santana (25-8-1, 12 KO) by decision
Former unified junior middleweight titlist Jarret Hurd, returning for the first time since losing his belts, outmaneuvered and outpunched Francisco Santana en route to a points win in the evening’s 10-round co-main event.
Too bad it wasn’t the usual, incensed action Hurd typically produces but that was all by design.
“We came out here and did what we wanted to,” Hurd said in the post-fight interview. “We wanted to work behind the jab—we didn’t want to go toe to toe, we didn’t want to go to war.”
Though Santana would’ve likely obliged a warring Hurd, the 29-year-old Maryland destroyer resolved to fight in reverse. In the first round, Santana wasn’t so much stalking but chasing the bigger man around.
Hurd controlled the pace with pawing jabs—not exerting himself. Santana was consistently creeping forward. When he could stringing together bursts of short, shoveling attacks—doing little damage.
The geography of the fight shifted in Round 3 where Hurd wasn’t so keen on giving up the center of the ring, firing stiff jabs at Centeno as “Chia” moved in semicirlces in search for an opening. More stiff jabs landed. Centeno found short success with left hooks as Hurd tested out, or at least attempted, to show off upper body movement. But Hurd returned to racking up points with slicing uppercuts to his man’s head.
Centeno was at least getting his workout in: bobbing here and there, audible grunts accompanying his chippy blows. None of which landed flush, brushing Hurd’s shoulders, and overhands unable to reach the head of his opponent.
Hurd was dealing out more powerful blows in the fifth stanza. Even in close distance, he was safe, leaning back, out of the reach of Centeno, patiently waiting for the shorter man to offer up helpless punches, and returning left-right hooks: more and more damaging as the round progressed.
The rest of the way, Centeno, desperately, pressed his weight into Hurd. Tossing up clenched fists but to no avail: eating punches along the way. Oversized and overmatched. More fluid movement from Hurd to end the sixth round, moving laterally, motioning out and way before springing back toward his man with punches across his body.
The action slipped into a lull through the next couple rounds. There was clumsy punching, both fighters crawling over each other. So Hurd got back on track in Round 9: moving backwards again, now sticking out his off-hand, occasionally tuning it into a long hook. Santana’s arms were still oscillating but touching Hurd with minimal force.
There was finally a knockdown in the waning seconds of the 10th frame. Hurd applied pressure, as he does best, blanketing the smaller man with his size: consuming him. Santana flailing his arms in retaliation. But two winging left hooks ricocheted off Santana’s head and allowed Hurd to tee off a right uppercut that slowly crumbled Santana to the ground. A last-second knockdown. But an inconsequential one, to be sure, manifesting when the fight had already been decided and fans no longer cared.
Angel Garcia: “We Want a Rematch With Thurman Bad”
By: Hans Themistode
Looking ahead is apart of all sports. Before the event even begins, the first question that arises is “what’s next?”
In boxing, in particular, the thought of a big fight is always on the minds of everyone. It may sound cliché and a bit infuriating but when a boxer says “I can’t look ahead, I have to focus on the fight in front of me,” fans simultaneously role their eyes.
This constant rhetoric used by fighters just isn’t what fans want to hear on a consistent basis, yet it is the formula that helps them carve out hall of fame level careers.
When you look at former two division world champion Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs), he’s become the poster child for this. It is difficult if not flat out impossible for anyone to get him to mention any other fighter other than the one that is currently placed in front of him.
His trainer and father, Angel Garcia on the other hand, now that’s an entirely different story.
On January 25th, at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn New York, Garcia will be taking on Ivan Redkach. It isn’t considered the most difficult matchup in the world for Danny. In fact, should he lose this upcoming weekend, you could make the case that this would rank amongst the biggest upsets in the history of the sport.
The matchup with Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) is an important one, but it isn’t exactly on the minds of the fans. Contests against unified champion Errol Spence Jr and WBA belt holder Manny Pacquiao are more intriguing.
You may not be able to get Danny to say much about what lies ahead for his future but his father is an open book.
“Anyone of them. We’ll take them all,” said Angel during a recent interview. “Listen, we’re here to fight so we’ll fight anyone of them. It doesn’t even matter if we have to fight on DAZN we can work with them.”
If you believe the rumbles then you’ll understand fully that Danny has a potential matchup with either of those aforementioned fighters awaiting him should he pull off the victory this Saturday.
The problem for Danny is that Spence was only recently cleared for boxing activities following a horrific car accident, while Pacquiao is an unknown.
Pacquiao has done just about everything in the sport of boxing and at this point, he’s almost like the golden ticket. One win over him and you have a chance of punching your own ticket to the hall of fame, while also pocketing a career high pay day as well.
Danny has a hall of fame case in his own right and he certainly isn’t hurting for money either, but more couldn’t hurt right? Danny would love a fight with the living legend but that doesn’t mean that he’ll simply wait around or beg for it either.
“We can fight Manny that’s not a problem but the point is this. Last year we were supposed to fight Manny. We sat and waited and then he ended up choosing Thurman. So we wasted a date last year. We want to fight at least two times this year.”
Speaking of Thurman, he of course handed the first loss to Danny in his career. It may have been over two years ago but don’t think Danny or Angel forgot about it.
“We want a rematch with Thurman bad. We need that rematch so that we can avenge the L. But if we don’t get him then we’ll take any of the other top guys.”
Before any of those dream matchups can actually happen, fans will have to revert back to those words that they hate to hear. “I have to focus on the fight in front of me.” It may not be the sort of statement that the fans want to be told, but it’s what they have to live with, for now.
Angel isn’t looking past Redkach but he does expect him to be nothing more than a speed bump on the road to big fights.
“Listen, when Danny starts throwing leather will Redkach be able to stand there and take it? I doubt it. Danny is gonna knock him out.”
Danny Garcia vs. Ivan Redkach, Hurd vs. Santana Fight Preview
On Saturday, Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KO) has two opponents in mind. Neither of which will be in the ring with him. Cast out from boxing’s pound-for-pound ranks, Garcia hopes to turn a dominant showing over Ivan Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KO) into a megafight with either Errol Spence of Manny Pacquiao.
Aiming for competitive fights has never exactly been Garcia’s M.O. lest there is something lucrative in it for him which would seem to be just what Spence and Pacquiao offer. Three years ago, Garcia was (even if begrudgingly so) a fixture among the sport’s elite. But having since been relieved of that lofty position following losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, years of living off a couple good wins in 2013 seems like ages ago. His recent 2-2 mark dates back to 2017. And too bad considering his talent—combining stellar power and impeccable balance—the whole is less than the sum of its parts when it comes to Garcia.
That 14-month stretch that saw Garcia blast Amir Khan and bang around Lucas Matthysse was something to behold. It also made his fall from grace that much more epic. Biblical even. Because Lucifer might be a good parallel for the hatred Garcia and his camp (namely his father) have been met with from the boxing community. Tagged with the “cherry picker” label for doing Al Haymon’s bidding and constantly jawing throughout that will-they-won’t-they saga leading up to his fight with Thurman. Angel Garcia swore his son was God’s gift to boxing. And fight fans were quick to point out the contradiction of such a claim with what was going down in the ring. For starters, that robbery at the expense of Mauricio Herrera.
It was Garcia’s first action since defeating Matthysse. Herrera was not yet known as the divisional spoiler but instead an unheralded journeyman who fought on even terms with middling men on ESPN. But there was no tuneup to be had for Garcia. Herrera’s awkward attack befuddled the superstar all the way to a lucky decision verdict that still haunts Garcia’s legacy. Still hanging on to his belts, Garcia didn’t get the chance to defend them when he next signed up to fight Rod Salka, a considerably smaller boxer, in a matchup so poor the WBC and WBA refused to sanction it.
By this point, the junior welterweight division was still hot. So Garcia couldn’t avoid the big names forever. To open 2015, he took on Lamont Peterson, a respectable champion. The contest was fair enough but Peterson finished the stronger go the two and that painted a terrible scene when Garcia eked out a majority decision. But the real story was that for no reason at all Garcia demanded a catchweight. That meant no belts on the line, no unification. Meaningless as they often are, those shiny belts mean a lot to the mainline fanbase, who consider them the entire goal of the sport: win the title and be the best. Garcia’s betrayal was yet another grave sin.
The belts clearly didn’t mean anything to Garcia because up he moved to welterweight-proper (147 pounds). In the sport’s most glamorized division pressure for high-level action only increased, especially against Thurman. But Garcia only offered up a bout with Paul Malignaggi and, worse, Robert Guerrero, who Thurman had beat the year before. Garcia’s time between fights became longer, waiting a whole 10 months before finally punching in a TKO over PBC grunt Samuel Vargas.
Not until the spring of 2017 did fans get Garcia-Thurman. But frankly no matter the outcome, no matter how close Garcia would run things with Thurman, it was never going to be enough. His reputation was soiled. Any type of loss was all his detractors needed. He had been exposed, as they like to say. Not just because Thurman was a terrific fighter but because it proved boxing intelligentsia correct all along—every soft touch, all the close fights, they weren’t isolated events but terrific pattern recognition from the hive mind on social media.
Three years on, Garcia has competed just three more times. Losing twice, falling short to the only notable names he’s faced since turning away Matthysse. His last fight was a stoppage over Adrian Granados, a banger cut from the same cloth as Redkach: the plodding type of opponent tailor-made for Garcia. The formula worked before, why not again?
Last June, Redkach, 33, was facing down the barrel of the same gun. Devon Alexander was an established contender on the hunt for a limited banger to gather momentum against. Redkach was his man but a pair of left hands flipped script in Redkach’s favor, winning by sixth-round knockout. Not bad for his welterweight debut.
Turning pro at lightweight with some considerable hype, Redkach was a decent hitter. But cracking a sturdy technician like Alexander was more than even his biggest fans could’ve hoped for. He’s strung together three straight wins. But mining another upset out of Redkach won’t be easy for his trainer Shane Mosley. Pushing those mid-30s there isn’t much left for a fighter beside their power. That might just be to Redkach’s delight.
Hurd looks to bounce back after losing titles
As interesting as a matchup can be between two men coming of a loss, Jarrett Hurd (23-1, 16 KO) squares off with Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KO) in a 10-round junior middleweight contest.
Hurd, 29, was the 154-pound king just last summer before the Maryland bruiser was decisioned by an inspired Julian Williams. Hurd had previously forced his will onto every one of this opponents. A three-fight crusade in 2017 and 2018 had particularly make the world take note: bashing Tony Harrison and Austin Trout before grueling out a decision over Erislandy Lara. All three were beltholders, past or present. So a early knockout over British ruffian Jason Welborn was just desserts.
Despite the hype surrounding Williams before he was felled by Jermall Charlo, Hurd was supposed to run over him. But Williams boxed his ears off. Fortunately for Hurd, Williams surprisingly lost immediately afterwards, and he isn’t that far away from another crack at a title as he is currently the top-rated contender to the WBA’s bevy of champions (three in all!).
Santana, 33, knows Williams firsthand too. They met ages ago in 2011, holding Williams to a draw. It was the first blemish on the future champ’s record. Santana’s true level was clear in his very next fight, outpointed by Jermall Charlo.
As such, the next half-decade was part and parcel for a second-tier brawler. Wrecking regional talent here, fed to shiny prospects there. So in 2018 he was an afterthought when he was entered the short-lived welterweight tournament put on by the WBC. In the top seed was Felix Diaz but Santana paid that no mind, outworking the former gold medalist to a points win. There are no nights off for Santana. He may have been outdone by a fresher, streaking Abel Ramos, in his last fight. but he still floored the younger man, accumulating 800 total punches. That’s who Santana is, consistent—limited that he may be.
Ryan Garcia: “I’m good looking in the ring because I punch people in the face”
By: Hans Themistode
It feels as though Ryan Garcia has been on the boxing scene for quite some time now. The sort of buzz that he has generated in his short four year career would lead you to believe that he is a veteran in the sport, when in actuality he is only 21 years of age.
Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs) is known for several reasons. His speed, power and of course, his good looks. Ever since he turned pro in June of 2016, the women have gravitated towards him. His popularity amongst women could be one of the reasons why he is headlining the first card of his career on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.
The attention he has gained from the women who seemingly throw themselves at his feet is appreciated, but it isn’t exactly what he wants to be known for. No, Garcia is past the stage where he is just a good looking face. Instead, he wants to be known more for the skills he displays in the ring.
“It’s just an image,” said Garcia when discussing the attention he gets from women for his good looks as opposed to his fighting skills. “I’m really ready to prove it in the ring. I’ve heard it too many times about how good looking I am. I’m good looking in the ring because I punch people in the face. I’m a great fighter and I’m ready to prove that in 2020.”
Garcia’s opponent on the night, Francisco Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs), is a rough and rugged boxer. It isn’t just that Garcia needs to pick up a win in order to prove his worth in the ring. It’s more so about how he goes about getting the job done. Fonseca’s only two blemishes on his record came at the hands of current world champion Tevin Farmer and an opponent Garcia has been wanting to get his hands on for a long time in Gervonta Davis.
Still, even with Fonseca’s shortcomings on the big stage, he isn’t someone that Garcia is taking lightly.
“He has a good boxing IQ and he doesn’t give up. Even if he’s getting hit hard he tries to win and you have to break that with either skill or power and we’re going to do that.”
This whole notion of Garcia needing to prove himself feels as though it is incorrect. In his last ring appearance, he took on the always tough Romero Duno. It was supposed to be the toughest fight in the career of Garcia, but it turned out to be anything but that. Garcia stopped Duno so quickly that many of his detractors aren’t sure what to make of it.
The naysayers wanted him to show something impressive in terms of new wrinkles to his game but with the contest not making it out of the first round, there really wasn’t too much to dissect from the performance.
“He got knocked out really quick so I didn’t get to show what I can really do. I wanna win by knockout because you don’t get paid for overtime. Plus I don’t want these guys to see how I fight or see what happens later on in fights.”
Garcia isn’t complaining about the quick win, nor should he. If he can somehow pull off the same results against another proven contender in Fonseca then that’s all he cares about.
“I’m just going to try and show my best performance out there.”
With this contest falling on Valentine’s Day, there will surely be a number of women in the crowd rooting him on.
Valentine’s Day has always been known as a day to show love, but on this night, there won’t be any of it shown in the ring.
Danny Garcia: “My Future Starts on Saturday Night”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s always a smile plastered across the face of former two division world champion Danny Garcia. A big one at that.
His happy demeanor has always been for good reason. He spent the first ten years of his career as an undefeated fighter, and five of those years as a world champion before picking up the first loss of his career to Keith Thurman in 2017.
The man nicknamed “Swift” bounced back in a major way with a stoppage win against Brandon Rios before losing a close contest against Shawn Porter shortly after.
In 2019, Garcia was seen putting Adrian Granados on his backside en route to a stoppage win. With the victory, his trademark smile followed it shortly after.
You would be hard pressed to ever find Garcia without that aforementioned smile, but there was a storyline behind it. The smile was nothing but a lie. A mask if you will. Similar to the one he often wears on his way to the ring.
“I been boxing for 21 years since I was 10 years old,” said Garcia. “All the big fights and the pressure, sometimes you get tired of it. There’s a lot of pressure and people expect a lot out of you. Sometimes you forget what makes you happy. It becomes a business so it’s like you’re not having fun anymore.”
Garcia’s time sulking in the demands and pressures that are associated with someone in his position didn’t last long. By the time the former two division champion walks through the ring ropes against Ivan Redkach on January 25th, at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, it will be nine full months since the boxing public has seen him.
Call it a mini vacation. A recharging period so to speak. Whatever you decide to name it, it worked. With the time spent away from the fight game, Garcia realized just how much it’s meant to him.
“I realized that this is what makes me happy. When I sit home and I’m not fighting I just don’t feel happy so I’m just counting my blessings my right now. I fell back in love with the sport of boxing again. My last camp I felt good. This camp I felt good so I just want to go out there and count my blessings and give the fans a good show.”
It’s great to see Garcia come to the realization that he loves the sport once again, but hopefully he also realizes the position he currently occupies.
This contest against Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) was never supposed to take place. Instead, a matchup against unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs) was on his radar. Spence would of course go on to get involved in a horrific car accident which put that bout on hold.
So now, Garcia is in a prove it spot if you will. All eyes will be fixated on him and his performance.
Needless to say, a loss to Redkach ends any hopes he has of competing on the big stage once again. Even a struggle against Redkach could lead to Garcia being shoved to the side in favor of someone else.
“I wouldn’t say it’s an audition but it’s a really important fight for me and my future. My future starts on Saturday night for all the big fights. I’ve been in a lot of big fights in my career. I’ve fought 13 world champions and been in 10 world title fights. I know Redkach is hungry but I know what it takes to win at this level. I know what a win on Saturday night will do for me and all the big fights that are right there waiting for me but I have to focus on Redkach right now, I can’t overlook him. I have to dominate him and then the sky’s the limit after that.”
It isn’t just the sky, but the entire galaxy is at the fingertips of Garcia if he is able to pull off the victory on Saturday night. Garcia currently occupies the number one ranking in the WBO as well as the number two spots for the WBA and WBC as well. He essentially has his pick of any world champion if he manages to pick up the win.
Although many of the big names have continuously called him out, there is one fighter in particular who wants a fight with Garcia as soon as possible. One that shares a history with him as well.
“Yeah for sure, this is a business, anything can be made if it’s done right,” said Garcia when discussing the possibility of a fight with WBO belt holder Terence Crawford. “We fought for free in the amateurs so why not fight for money.”
A fight with Crawford would be a great one but not something that anyone should look forward to. Garcia might be interested in a bout with Crawford but he is even more interested in a showdown with either Errol Spence Jr or WBA titlist Manny Pacquiao.
“I like my chances against either one of those guys. It’ll be a great fight but I believe I can beat either of them but first things first, I have to take care of Redkach on Saturday night.”