The deepest talent pool in boxing belongs to the junior welterweight division.
Brandon Rios, Victor Ortiz, Marcos Maidana, Josesito Lopez, Tim Bradley and Amir Khan are a few of the top names currently wading in the 140 pound waters.
Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia feels he’s prepared to dive in with the rest. “I’m ready for all of them right now,” said the confident 22 year old. “I’m young and determined. I’m hungry, I have just as many skills and I’m stronger than all those guys.”
Hefty words from the undefeated (19-0, 13 KO’s) son of Puerto Rican immigrants.
His impressive fourth round knockout of former title contender Michael Arnaoutis in October of 2010 earned him some believers.
Arnaoutis, a polished boxer who is now considered a junior welterweight gate-keeper, was boxing effectively for the first two rounds and seemed to be giving Garcia trouble with his left handed stance.
It was in the third round that Garcia demonstrated one of the qualities a fighter must have if he’s ever to transcend prospect status. The ability to adapt.
It was near the end of the round when a perfectly timed and thunderous left-cross dropped Arnaoutis. The courageous Greek warrior got up quickly then stumbled down again. He rose again just as the bell rang.
In the fourth round, Garcia displayed another important quality. The ability to finish your wounded prey. He pounced on his still dazed foe and eventually caught him again with a right then a left that finished the job.
“It was just a matter of finding my range,” he remembers. “I can fight any style they put in front of me. Eventually I figure my opponent out.”
Garcia watched the recent Tim Bradley vs. Devon Alexander title fight with special interest. “Bradley is relentless. The difference between me and other fighters that Bradley’s fought in the past, is that none of those fighters have the kind of power I have,” he assured. “Bradley isn’t going to respect anyone who can’t punch. If he charges in on me he’s going to get hit hard and he’s been dropped a few times in the past.”
“I’m looking forward to fighting all the top guys,” said Garcia. “I love competition and I love the spotlight. I want all the big fights and I want to be a superstar.”
Hailing from Philly, home of boxing greats like Meldrick Taylor, Bernard Hopkins and countless others, he has big shoes he gladly wants to fill. “Being from a historic fight town actually motivates me. It makes me want to bring up my game so I can live up to the legend,” said Garcia. “The hardest thing about being from Philly are the distractions but I’m always working on staying focused. I’m not much of a partier or anything.”
He picked up his affinity for the sport like most fighters and boxing fans. “When I was a kid I used to watch boxing with my dad. I watched Felix Trinidad and Oscar de La Hoya,” said Garcia. “The sport came really easy to me and I fell in love with it.”
After a stellar amateur career of 107 wins 13 losses and two U.S. National amateur titles, he was considered a blue chip prospect once he turned pro. De La Hoya’s promotional company quickly took notice and signed him to a promotional deal. “It’s been a real blessing. There are thousands of fighters out there that just want a shot,” said Garcia. “To watch Oscar when I was young and now to be a part of his team, I feel lucky and I’m going to take full advantage of the opportunity.”
“Swift” got his nickname at eleven years old from a pro boxer in his gym who felt young Danny carried a “too cool for the room” attitude. As nicknames usually do, it stuck with him for life. “He started calling me “young swift” and eventually I shortened it to “swift” and that’s the way it’s always been,” he said.
It’s a fitting nickname.
He’s swift with his feet, his punches and swift with his words. He spills his feelings, like he fights, fearlessly.
“I feel like I’m the complete package. A lot of fighters out there are one dimensional,” said Garcia. “I have the speed, the power, the style. I knock people out and that’s what the fans like.”
Garcia will be fighting this Friday as the televised main event on Telefutura’s “Solo Boxeo" from the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.
His opponent, John Figueroa, went the distance against two of boxing’s hottest young prospects in Carlos Molina and Luis Ramos. If Garcia is to impress, he must get the early stoppage. According to “Swift”, a knockout is virtually assured.
“I want to tell the fans that they should watch and support me,” he said. “My last three fights I got all knockouts and I’m looking forward to giving the fans a great show. If they want to see knockouts keep watching and following Danny Garcia.”
On the web:
Danny “Swift” Garcia vs. Mike Arnaoutis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBnQO_VWYzE
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Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV