Garcia Escapes Close Call – After beating Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision in an action-packed bout for the vacant WBC welterweight title this past Saturday night, Danny Garcia will have the opportunity to finally show he’s what he says he is, one of the best, if not the most complete pound for pound fighter in professional boxing. All three judges scored the bout 116-112 in favor of Garcia. I saw it 115-114 Garcia based on Guerrero’s steady pressure and Danny fighting too complacently during gaps of the bout.
In a way it’s a shame Floyd Mayweather retired because Danny missed out on the multimillion dollar payday that accompanies fighting Floyd. Then again, had Garcia fought Mayweather he would’ve looked ordinary against him and probably lost 10 of the 12 rounds. That said, I do believe Mayweather will fight again but it won’t be against Garcia because there is nothing for Floyd to gain unless being the first to defeat Garcia really motivates him. And after watching Garcia struggle with Guerrero I doubt there’s a demand for Mayweather-Garcia.
I read somewhere that “Garcia needed several rounds to figure out how to handle Robert Guerrero.” Really? That’s not what I saw! In my observation, Guerrero’s physical strength and pressure completely overwhelmed Garcia. Danny didn’t just all of the sudden decide that he needed to start getting off and become an active participant in the fight. He was losing and being pushed all over the ring, much more so than I had envisioned. The truth of the matter is – the fight was slipping away from him and a loss with the title on the line would’ve been a severe career setback. Danny should count his blessings that Guerrero wasn’t a bigger puncher because he would’ve really been in trouble.
Prior to the bout we knew Garcia had the quicker hands and feet and was the better technician. “I was throwing my combinations, using my legs like my dad told me to do” Garcia said. “I knew he was going to come to fight. He’s a rugged warrior.”
Yes, that’s true, but I can’t remember the last time I saw Garcia forced to rush his shots and fight with such a sense of urgency. Guerrero looked better than he has in a while and as always brought everything he had and wasn’t the least bit bothered by anything Garcia landed on him. His problem was that after the fourth round Garcia’s quicker hands were getting to the mark first and disrupting Guerrero just enough to the point to where Robert couldn’t walk Garcia down the way he did during the first third of the fight. When you have two fighters who can stand up to the others best, it’s usually the fighter who can get off quicker and escape the opponents counter that’ll end up winning on points, as was the case between Garcia and Guerrero as the bout progressed.
The take away from the fight is that Guerrero exceeded expectations and Garcia, although he used all of the tools at his disposal because he was forced to, was underwhelming. Danny was resourceful, but Guerrero isn’t the most imaginative fighter offensively or defensively in the welterweight division. And because of that Garcia was able to salvage the fight and will move on to meet the next man in line for a shot at his WBC title. Many believe that fighter is Amir Khan 31-3 (19).
“I think I’ll get my chance to win that title [against Garcia] and have that rematch which I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time,” Khan said, via Sky Sports. “I’d quite like that to happen this summer. If he wins, that is.”
Garcia vs. Khan II? As most know, these two tied up once before; it was back in July of 2012. For three rounds Khan out-boxed and out-sped Garcia and was fighting very smart. Prior to the bout, Khan’s trainer Freddie Roach said “we’ll work angles against Garcia who is a straight line fighter.” And for two and three quarter rounds Khan peppered Garcia and smartly got out before he could be countered. But late in the third round Garcia dropped Khan with a left hook to the neck during an exchange and Khan was falling all over the ring at the bell. Garcia jumped on Khan at the start of the fourth round. Kahn tried to fight him off and was stopped in the process.
I don’t see a rematch ending any differently. Khan will look good early, but eventually he’ll stay in front of Garcia too long and then they’ll be fighting it out. Somewhere during one of those exchanges Garcia will hurt Khan and that will be the beginning of the end. Amir’s willingness to fight and trade with Garcia when it’s not in his best interest will be the difference and Garcia will stop him again.
Danny Garcia is a very skilled and willing fighter. He can box, counter and slug it out if he has to. His mindset and style make for something Floyd Mayweather never provided, and that’s exciting bouts. There are great match ups at 147 waiting for Garcia. We can look forward to him touching hands with the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter winner, Adrien Broner and the surging Terence Crawford. And who knows, maybe even Manny Pacquiao. Now that I think of it, I’d love to see Pacquiao-Garcia if Manny can get past Timothy Bradley this coming April.
No, Danny Garcia is not boxing’s new must-see fighter. But there is much about him to like. He’s an outstanding talent, he’s willing to fight anybody who is a perceived threat to him and he’s seldom in a bad fight. Granted, he was slightly better than par against Guerrero, but he won the fight clean. Nobody blows out Robert Guerrero and Garcia shouldn’t be admonished because he couldn’t.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com
Check out this The Boxing Channel‘s video with results and highlights.