Showtime's Espinoza Doesn't Doubt Garcia Injury

BY Michael Woods ON January 28, 2013
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Matthyssee DallasBoxing fans are eager to see what comes next for Cruel Hand Lucas Matthysse, who demolished Mike Dallas (right) on Saturday, on Showtime.

This being the boxing world, where the unexpected occurs regularly, and the truth is a malleable concept, employed more than intermittently but not unfailingly, the word that a fighter has came up injured is often met with skepticism. Often, not even polite skepticism. Such was the case when we learned Sunday that Danny Garcia injured a rib, or ribs, and will need time to heal, thus postponing his Feb. 9 title defense against Zab Judah.

Zab's dad Yoel told me Sunday that he has serious doubts that Garcia is actually injured and in fact thinks the Philly fighter is feigning injury because he fears Zab's level of readiness and hasn't been training all that hard.

I asked Stephen Espinoza, the executive vice president of sports at Showtime, which was set to televise the Garcia-Judah bout, if he needed to see proof of Garcia's injury, or he took Team Garcia's word at face value.

"Several people, including the opponent, showed skepticism at the injury, but to me there's no reason to doubt Danny," Espinoza told me. "He's always up for a difficult opponent, and this is a very good payday. And a real rivalry with Zab is there. I don't think he walks away any for any other reason than a legitimate one."

Espinoza told TSS that Garcia was hurt about a week ago, and aggravated it this weekend. He saw a doctor initially and is slated to visit a physician to get a diagnosis today. "We should get clear information today," he said.

Showtime's next big event comes Feb. 23, when Devon Alexander has a title defense against brit Kell Brook. Espinoza traveled to the UK and Showtime shot material on Brook. He said the boxer came off as very confident, and wants to have an impressive showing. Alexander, too, wants to look his best, Espinoza said, coming off a win which didn't light fires under fans, as foe Randall bailey didn't force him to push himself all that much. "He wants to make a statement that he's at the top of that division. Both want to make an impression," Espinoza said, and that should make for a fun clash.

Espinoza was, like most of us, mightily impressed with Lucas Matthysse, who exploded a bomb on Mike Dallas Saturday night, scoring a KO1 win. "The term gets thrown around a lot, but I do believe he is one of most avoided if not the most avoided in boxing. Saturday night isn't going to make some people more eager  to fight him, but his popularity continues to grow and that will help him get big fights."

Next for Matthysse? "The delay in Danny's fight factors in, but I think the most natural would be a Marcos Maidana fight. That's a dream fight, both are tough guys, big punchers. You almost don't need a ref, just direct them to the center ring and have them slug it out."

Both men are from Argentina, so that story arc is compelling.

Matthysse holds the WBC interim junior welter title, while Garcia holds the regular WBC 140 pound belt. Maidana has fought his last three bouts at 147, so there could be an issue with making 140.

Was Espinoza even partially relieved that the Paul Malignaggi-Shane Mosley fight didn't come to fruition? No, he said, because he thought Mosley had a chance to win. Yes, he'd seen Mosley look underwhelming against Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Mora, but he thought--as I did, by the way--that Mosley didn't look shot in his last bout, against Canelo Alvarez.

Any idea on what's next for Paulie? "The names I've heard voiced are Maidana and Andre Berto is another name," Espinoza said. "I would think Berto is number one in that list."

A foe and site for Amir Khan, on April 20, are also on Espinoza's to do list. If the bout takes place in the States, he said, Josesito Lopez would be a strong possibility for the Brit. "If it's in the UK, it's more wide open."Espinoza is happy to allow Khan some time to get more comfortable with new trainer Virgil Hunter, so there's no huge rush.

Readers, weigh in. Who would you like to see next for Matthysse, Malignaggi, Khan and Maidana.

Comment on this article

deepwater says:

who cares what the political hack eSPONGEnoza thinks. he has an interest to say that. the truth is danny garcia is faking an injury to get out of the fight. who knows if haymon told him to do it or not. word is garcia was not training hard enough and was out and about. chop chop says its a busted finger. garcia says its a rib. someone else says its a 6th toe .its the old bs excuse to fake an injury to get out of the fight. garcia/haymon are sniffing around for money. probably think its safer to fight lucas m for the same money then an angry judah in bk. the fact that this site had to make an article saying a corrupt showtime exec believes danny and his dad with the lego man haircuts is bs. the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

deepwater says:

follow the money and corruption. what happen to postponing zab vs garcia fight to april 29th? it wont happen because the hacks are looking for $$$$. maidana vs lucas m for the biggest $$$ fight in argentinian history. hey zab already beat lucas m. sports writers should be calling bs on this. but hey when people dont want to ask hard questions from the power players this is what we get. question #1 Mr espinoza, do you have any finacial interest in these fights? question 2, Mr espinoza, have you been advised by mr al haymon on the potential options if garcia can pull out of the judah fight? question 3 Mr espinoza in your opinion wouldnt danny garcia have any easier match against lucas m since he has no speed or footwork? question 4, Mr espinoza zab judah already beat lucas m, why would you allow lucas to fight garcia before zab judah?

Radam G says:

I know da game! And I know da lame! And I know da shame! And I've seen and tasted da fame.

I'm rollin' with Deepwater on this one. Danny Garcia is being a bit of a snake. And he has on his fake. Holla!

Carmine Cas says:

Fishy fishy. Do you guys think he'd rather fight Matthysse?

Radam G says:

I do! More money and a less stressful fight. Thought he'd possibly defeat Judah, it would be a great mental task. With Matthysse, it will be just being careful and taking advantage of the roughhousing, rushing and bumrushing.

The game is full of optical illusions. And those who don't how the trick is done cannot see it. Holla!

deepwater says:

Fishy fishy. Do you guys think he'd rather fight Matthysse?

Yes. Mattysse has the power but nothing else. Chop chop Corley said Garcia couldn't hit his body because he is a southpaw and uses his elbow to block his belly. Garcia hurt his hand on corleys elbow. Judah who is southpaw like Corley wouldnt let Garcia land body shots. Al Haymon sees easy money.

deepwater says:

I do! More money and a less stressful fight. Thought he'd possibly defeat Judah, it would be a great mental task. With Matthysse, it will be just being careful and taking advantage of the roughhousing, rushing and bumrushing.

The game is full of optical illusions. And those who don't how the trick is done cannot see it. Holla!


Corley was working over Garcia in sparring , Garcia couldn't land anything against south paw chop chop. Hmmm? Fighting a fast southpaw in bk isn't the same as fighting old morales. Better call Haymon and snake out of the fight. I bet $$$ Garcia does not fight Judah in April.

brownsugar says:

Interesting Scenario,........But I have a hard time believing Garcia is afraid of past-his-prime Judah or that he even has a little doubt running through his bones. As easily as Zab folded under Amir Khan I can't Believe Garcia has lost the will to fight... Zab is the next natural progression up from Morales. Slightly better than Morales but not getting any younger himself.

Supposedly there's a picture of Danny's busted rib on the web,.. it's not hard to find,.. I haven't looked yet but it's out there.

Not saying Deep doesn't know what he's talking about,(he usually does) but I have to learn more before coming to any conclusions.

dino da vinci says:

This is easy. If the fighter has a history of pulling out of fights, then yes it's possible. If he's never had a prior incident, I'll go with he suffered the injury in sparring.

Also, you can't have it both ways. If you believe he's not good enough to get past Judah, or he'd struggle with Judah, why is it so hard to believe he was injured in sparring?

dino da vinci says:

I believe the Judah's 'slipped' in the shower before his scheduled Mosely fight a few years back.
Zab saying Garcia is afraid now is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.


I used to love reading this guy. But where does he go?

Radam G says:

Ditto, Kuya Fe'Roz! It is all about the tricks of the trade and they are all home made. Zab has no scars anywhere to show that he suffer a shower spill. And Danny G won't have jack to show that in the ribs he got whacked. Both of these guys' B-S ain't as tall as a molehill. Holla!

Radam G says:

Maybe Andy from Newcastle will be back soon for a visit. Holla!

amayseng says:

Bruised and sore ribs come with the territory.

Broken ribs are a different story, which he does not have.

Garcia wants a way out after having such trouble with chop chop.

Judah may be 35 but he isn't old or worn

He still has fantastic speed and can crack.

If garcia was serious about trying to fight

he would have spent this whole week rehabbing the ribs and healing

He wouldn't have called it off till the last minute.

deepwater says:

Bruised and sore ribs come with the territory.

Broken ribs are a different story, which he does not have.

Garcia wants a way out after having such trouble with chop chop.

Judah may be 35 but he isn't old or worn

He still has fantastic speed and can crack.

If garcia was serious about trying to fight

he would have spent this whole week rehabbing the ribs and healing

He wouldn't have called it off till the last minute.

Yup

deepwater says:

Bruised and sore ribs come with the territory.

Broken ribs are a different story, which he does not have.

Garcia wants a way out after having such trouble with chop chop.

Judah may be 35 but he isn't old or worn

He still has fantastic speed and can crack.

If garcia was serious about trying to fight

he would have spent this whole week rehabbing the ribs and healing

He wouldn't have called it off till the last minute.

Yup

SouthPaul says:

I took a spill on my dirt bike (yz250) last year ...jammed my ribs up on the handle bars....bruised 'em...it's no joke. Took a lot longer than a week to get better... Took months in fact.

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