Fighter Profile: Danny Garcia Underrated No More – The Underdog Barks
By Marc Gorman
In this beautiful sport, there are no certainties, everybody has a ”punchers” chance in a fight. There are mismatches, upsets, jaw dropping moments and sometimes, absolute disbelief! There is one fighter who has been written off more times than I can count, always the underdog, we have been told he is going to be outboxed, out smarted, forced to quit and even knocked out. He is still undefeated, he is the unified 140lb champion of the world – Danny ”Swift” Garcia.
A quiet, unassuming 25 year old from North Philadelphia, Garcia is of Puerto Rican heritage. His father and trainer Angel was also a boxer and brought young Danny to a boxing gym at 10 years old. The rest is history.
An impressive amateur boxer, he had a record of 107-13. Garcia was 2005 U19 U.S National Champion, and 2006 U.S National Champion. He chose to enter the pro ranks instead of a place on the U.S.A boxing team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics quoted by thesweetscience.com as saying ”I like the pro’s better, I am able to sit down on my punches and use my power better”.
Garcia made his debut in 2007 against Mike Denby, resulting in a 1st round KO win for him. He fought under the Golden Boy promotional banner from day one, touted as a huge prospect, for which he has rewarded their faith in him many times over. He fought 8 times in his first year as a pro. He received huge publicity early on fighting on big undercards such as Mayweather/Hatton and Hopkins/Pavlik. His first real test was to come against British contender Ashley Theophane, where he came away with a split decision victory after a tough fight in which some viewers would still say could have gone either way.
After Theophane, he had a tune up which gave him a 4th round KO win before taking on Nate Campbell, former Lightweight champion. The fight was a 10 round unanimous decision for Garcia. He then went on to fight Kendall Holt for the NABO 140lb title, Holt was defeated via a tough split decision.
This result catapulted Garcia into contention for a world title. The opponent, Mexico’s Erik Morales. This ignited the long standing Mexican/Puerto Rican rivalry once more. The mouthwatering prospect of the seasoned warrior versus the young lion captured fans imaginations right from the start. Some pundits billed it as a step too far for Danny, saying it had come to early, that Morales would be too clever for the sometimes headstrong contender. The underdog Garcia fought brilliantly against a somewhat past his prime Morales, knocking him down in the 11th on his way to a UD.
Next for Garcia was British 140lb World Champ Amir Khan, again Danny was the underdog, Khan had huge speed and decent ring movement, but always had a very leaky defence and had shown he was open to certain shots. People wrote Garcia off due to Khans speed and anyone watching the first 2 rounds would have have agreed. Garcia countered Khan with a signature left hook which put Khan down hard. Round 4 came too soon for Khan and Swift finished him off for good. The underdog had broke the old saying ”speed kills”.
With his huge upset win over Khan, Garcia moved backwards with a rematch against ”El Terrible” Morales. All the while Danny was doing his talking in the ring whilst his father Angel was creating havoc outside of it. His brash and crude persona was ruffling feathers in the boxing world where he was publicly taking on his sons opponents. While some will see all his loud mouth attacks as annoying, I feel it detracts from the pressure on his son in the ring. Danny by nature seems like a reserved man and allows his father free rein with his mouth. This allows Danny to simply train, turn up on fight night and do the business. In my opinion this is EXACTLY what Garcia needs and the results speak for themselves.
The Garcia/Morales II fight was a mismatch, Garcia had become champion, grown as a fighter and discovered his ”man strength” in the ring, whereas Morales was on a downward spiral. The fight was over in round 4 when Garcia knocked Morales out with the same left hook that left Amir Khan wanting in his previous fight.
Angel Garcia really upped his game in his sons next fight. Danny was pencilled in to fight former Undisputed Light Welterweight Champ Zab Judah. The fight was postponed after Danny had broken some of his ribs in training. The build up to the fight saw massive entertainment with Angel Garcia almost coming to blows with Judah himself at the press conference. The fight itself was superb, more a fight for the purist, it was technically excellent from both fighters. Garcia leading comfortably, put ”Super” Judah down in the 8th. Rising from the count he clawed back down the stretch and won rounds 10, 11 and 12. Unanimous decision for Swift as he had outboxed Zab early doors.
Danny Garcia had been the underdog in his last 4 fights, he was written off and labelled as ”crude”, described as limited and out of his depth. He overcame every fighter that was put in front of him and he was now facing Argentine powerhouse Lucas Matthysse. Coming off a spectacular KO of former 140 Champ Lamont Peterson and billed as one of the hardest pound for pound punchers in the business. Danny Garcia, ever the underdog, again written off by the press, saying he will do well to last a few rounds with Matthysse. The result, UD Garcia. He fought with a level of maturity I have rarely seen in a 25 year old fighter. Known as a banger, he took his time early and used his boxing skills. He began to close Matthysse’ left eye and when it worsened he capitalised on this and put the challenger down in the 11th for the first time in his career. He stood toe to toe with the Argentine late in the 12th round just to silence any critics of his ability to take a shot.
Danny Garcia, undefeated, unified Light Welterweight Champion of the world. Always the underdog!!
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