Garcia Missed Opportunity To Distinguish Himself Versus Malignaggi

Former junior welterweight title holder Danny Garcia 31-0 (18) made his welterweight debut this past Saturday night at the Barclays Center in New York. His opponent former junior welterweight/welterweight title holder Paulie Malignaggi 33-7 (7), hadn’t fought in 16 months and was coming off the worst shellacking of his 14 year career. Prior to the first punch being thrown, it was well understood in boxing circles that Garcia, 27, represented the future and the A-side of the bout and Malignaggi, 34, was the warm body/opponent for Garcia to shine against and make a nice welterweight splash.

If there ever was a fight that was easy to handicap and predict who would win and how the fight would play out, it was Garcia vs. Malignaggi. It was noted before the bout that Garcia had trouble with movers like Malignaggi, but when all was said and done he’d most likely be too strong and aggressive for him just as well. As for the Malignaggi side of the coin, it was understood that his legs were gone, his balance was gone and he probably couldn’t recover and bounce back from the thrashing he took from Shawn Porter in his last fight. And that was exactly how the fight played out.

For the first round and some of the second, Malignaggi moved well enough to prevent Garcia from walking through him, but you could tell that it was only a matter of time before Paulie would be treading water and fighting up hill. And the fact that Paulie couldn’t throw anything at Danny to give him the slightest bit of trepidation, allowed Garcia to fight without a sense of urgency. He knew with each passing round he’d get closer to Malignaggi and be able to put some more hurt on him, and smartly he didn’t attempt to do it all in one round or with one punch. It was measured and methodical aggression. With each passing round Garcia beat Malignaggi up a little more – because Danny found his rhythm and understood that Paulie didn’t have the power to make him do anything that he didn’t want to. Whereas Malignaggi was taking more shots, was cut above and below his right eye and grasped that Danny would soon raise the rent and come harder with left hooks and finishing right hands. Ultimately, the fight was stopped in the ninth round. Malignaggi saved faced and finished on his feet and when all was said and done, Garcia was dominant and left no question as to whose night it was.

However, was that enough for Garcia?

Today winning isn’t always enough, a fighter positioning for a big fight must be impressive and memorable. We knew before the fight that Danny was tough and aggressive. But looking back at the fight, Garcia should’ve gone through Malignaggi, especially at this stage of Paulie’s career. In Malignaggi, he had a fighter in front of him who had bad balance, no legs, lacked the power to hurt or impede him and was fighting more to prove a point that he wasn’t finished as an upper-tier fighter. In reality Garcia was able to do whatever he wanted to versus a fighter with bad wheels and no fight altering power, yet somehow Malignaggi forced Danny to really have to think and work in order for him to get Paulie out of there.

Danny Garcia is just 27 years old. He’s no doubt elite, but he didn’t stimulate the fan interest to really wanna see him again. The welterweight division is one of the deeper divisions in boxing and there are fights out there for him. Everybody is chasing Floyd Mayweather for a chance to fight for the pot of gold. Unfortunately Garcia didn’t sell one ticket for anyone wanting to see him challenge Mayweather. He looked like the rest of the tweeners who would go the distance with Mayweather but never really come close to beating him.

Had Danny really blown Malignaggi away he would be getting a lot of buzz today, but that’s not the case because he wasn’t impressive or memorable against Paulie Malignaggi. And that simply isn’t enough to stimulate boxing fans to covet seeing him fight again. Yes, they’ll watch, but more so because they’re boxing fans. No, we can’t write Danny off as not being big time, but had he taken Malignaggi apart he’d be getting some juice today and being mentioned as a worthy opponent for Mayweather, and that’s not the case.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at



-deepwater2 :

Garcia had the chance to put away a shot fighter and he couldn't do it or didn't want to do it. Porter showed the blueprint how to steamroll Paulie, and Garcia didn't execute it. Paulie didn't come to win, he came to lose on his feet. Way too much hugging going on after the fight. Please,for crying out loud,PBC has to make better matches. Garcia vs Broner,Thurman,Porter will do. Garcia vs Herrera rematch is in order. Let Jacobs unify with GGG this winter. or let Quillin have a hard fight against GGG. Jacobs vs Quillin is OK for BK but let it happen sooner than later and get it over with. Danny Jacobs and Garcia got a paycheck for these mismatches but their stock didn't go up at all. Met up with the usual crowd on Sunday afternoon. Asked all the sports fans about last nights fights and not 1 person bothered watching the PBC card. Everyone was talking Rowdy Rousey. After watching the bouts Sunday morning,I figured someone enjoyed the first round of the Jacobs vs Mora fight but no one bothered to watch their DVR by the time of our meeting. #StepItUp-PBC

-SouthPawFlo :

Totally agree... Danny hasn't looked good in a fight against a live body (Rod Salka doesn't count) since the Matthysse fight..... I think he lost to Herrera and Peterson....

-brownsugar :

Danny Garcia reminds me of that bumbling cop from one of the most Iconic Crime Dramas of the 90's, "Columbo" ........played by the late great Peter Faulk. Columbo was always a hot mess, his hair was never combed, his tie was always crooked, and he always looked like he just woke up in a crumpled 3 piece suit which he wore under a wrinkled beige overcoat,... There was nothing stylish or debonair about the detective in the slightest way. Like one of those guys who have been married a long time and never talks about their wives or shows pictures of their kids..... but you know he's working 2 jobs to send his kids to private school and takes his wife on Carribian Getaways. He squinted like he was half blind ( like Mr Magoo ) and was constantly bringing up innane conversations about a seemingly unrelated subject to the extreme chagrin of the local criminal elements of the show, who were never shy about expressing their opinions about a man whom they assumed had to be most incompetent detective on the police force. To compound matters Columbo always seemed to be distracted, absent minded, and scatterbrained, right up until he slipped a pair of cuffs on the purp at the end of the which time he would stitch his fragmented ramblings together with the eloquence of a modern day Sherlock. This is Danny Garcia, no style to speak of, no high gear method of locomotion, just a steady grinder who inches toward his goal one inch at a time. I'm not suggesting that Garcia is a boxing savant who pretends to be an inefficient and meandering boob while on offensive so he can implement a master plan to ensnare his unwitting prey in a diabolical trap devised of pure genius. If you go all the way back three or four years, when Garcia was fighting a declining Nate Campbell, Timothy Holt, and Eric Morales,...even then, the Boxing World cast a tentatively doubtful gaze at Garcia who gradually earned the respect of his peers and fans by doing the same thing he does now. Using the " he doesn't really do anything particularly well but somehow he just keeps winning "approach. The old lions who were supposed to expose Garcia were similarly baffled by the nondescript fighter who seems to be nothing special in any category but is somehow more than the sum of his parts,... Against Khan, who had just KO'd Judah in a one sided blowout Garcia was still the underdog. If you remember, Khan was blazing away, strafing Garcia at will with rapid combo's and looking like he was on his way to another blowout against an average boxer. ...all Danny did was gradually adjust his left hook until it finally connected due to Khan presenting the same target repeatedly .... I think Garcia is a skilled and practical boxer with a good chin, sound fundamentals, a solid beard and a punch that remains potent until the final round,....but "Swift Danny" will rarely be able to blitz a guy like GGG because his approach is to take his time while inching toward his opponent until he's in range to either trade or T-off. Malignaggi has always been hard to find, except against Porter who specializes in charging and overpowering weaker boxers. Garcia could have easily debuted against a fringe contender and nobody could fault him for it. Picking Paulie was a wise choice to get introduced to the rest of the division, Paulie's peers are still not finished talking about him. ...and how they think they will beat him.... Just like they did at 140. Danny has never been a favorite of mine but he will fight against anyone at anytime and any place, he beat the Boogyman at junior Welter and he's one of the few fighters who carries enough ammunition to change a fight at any moment. His addition to the welterweight division will spice up the potential available matchups in that division. I'm looking forward to seeing Danny being matched against Porter, Broner, Alexander, Thurman, Ali, Peterson (again), Vargas, or Bradley this year or early 2016. I will not be shocked at any unexpected upsets. Similar to Columbo, Garcia doesn't look like much, he is nothing flashy, slick, or dangerous in the extreme way that killers like GGG or defensively elegant and offensively efficient monsters like Mayweather... but I do think he will leave the sport defined by his accomplishments rather than his visual appeal.

-JaketheSnake :

Rarely comment on this site but just came to thank Brownsugar for that epic discourse... It's rare for someone to connect a 1970's detective to a boxing style but you pulled it off!

-brownsugar :

Rarely comment on this site but just came to thank Brownsugar for that epic discourse... It's rare for someone to connect a 1970's detective to a boxing style but you pulled it off!
I appreciate the comments JaketheSnake, I happened to catch a late night episode of the show this past weekend. Peter Faulk did a terrific job with the character, made me feel like I was watching the Stephen Hawking of crime solvers. The show is rated as #7 on the list of the 50 most highly rated tv shows on a list I found on the web. Its easy to see why.

-StormCentre :

Yep, good stuff BS. Interesting to peer in on, and attempt to forecast, Garcia's future in the sport; based on his performance last weekend. Prior to the fight I stated that I doubted Garcia will want to destroy Paulie, even if he feels he can; due to the PBC connections. I think Danny held back a bit. That said, Danny doesn't look like anything special to me, but he may be able to navigate the welterweight waters with reasonable success due to a few factors including, how fragmented and average it is, and how fundamentally strong (basic?) Danny is. Danny V Rios would be an interesting benchmark, but promoter issues may prevent that from happening before Garcia V Broner; if Broner really dares. If it was a few years ago I would say that I can't see Garcia beating Bradley. But then, after Jessie Vargas - whom Tim beat but in doing it I thought displayed signs he was getting older - who knows? Smart money would probably be on Bradley, but the difference between their punching strength and fight-strategies might be telling in the real outcome. Perhaps a fight between Danny and Provodkinov is the best benchmark and one that's not entirely unlikely. Thurman - you would think - should present issues for Danny. Brook V Garcia might also be promotionally and otherwise possible, and that would be good fight that I would back Brook to win. Porter V Garcia would be interesting too. :) :)

-brownsugar :

Yeah... It looked like they were having a love-in after the fight with Paulie passing the torch and some inside advise, no animosity. I'd like to see Danny face Porter, Porter is too insulted to fight Errol Spence but would love to put the uppity Garcia in his place ......while Angel and Danny replied by saying if Porter feels butt-hurt about his comments he'd gladley accommodate him. Would love to see that one.