Let’s face it. Nobody wanted to see TBRB, Ring, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia take on Rod Salka on Saturday except for the people who made the fight and perhaps some of the fight-crazed crowd that watched it unfold live at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Salka, a lightweight, didn’t deserve to face the king of the 140-pound division to the point that both alphabet orgs chose to refuse sanctioning the fight, so the bout was fought above the junior welterweight limit.
Garcia, from Philadelphia, defeated Salka by TKO in Round 2. Garcia knocked Salka down three times in the round, the last coming at 2:31. The hope now, of course, is that the card was just a prelude to a unification bout between Garcia and IBF champion Lamont Peterson, who defeated his overmatched opponent on the same card.
“I want to thank Showtime for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills,” said Garcia after the fight, and he was exactly right. This was nothing more than a showcase fight for Garcia. Salka had no chance.
It was clear from the start that Garcia was the bigger and stronger fighter. Garcia must have felt it too, because he moved forward more than typical and carried the action to his smaller opponent. Round 1 looked like a sparring session between the man-sized Garcia and the smallish Salka, who tried to box from the outside but was probably surprised by Garcia’s edge in hand speed.
Garcia walked the smaller Salka down in Round 2 and put him down hard with a left hook. Salka rose to his feet but was met with the same terrible truth: Garcia was bigger, faster, stronger and better. Garcia landed a hard right hand to put Salka down again. Salka stood back up but was simply outgunned. A vicious left hook to the head proved what everyone knew before the opening bell sounded: this was an ugly and pointless mismatch that should never have happened in the first place.
After the bout, Garcia said he would fight whoever his manager, Al Haymon, chose for him next. Showtime’s Jim Gray pressed Garcia on whether or not he’d want Haymon to choose IBF titleholder Lamont Peterson next, but Garcia wouldn’t commit so fight fans should probably hope Haymon at least tells Garcia to pick on someone his own size from here on out.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV