Danny Garcia's three most thrilling victories
By Hector Franco
March 4, 2017
BROOKLYN, NY – Tonight fans will witness WBC welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) take on WBA welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman in one of the most highly anticipated matches in boxing. The bout will be held at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn where Garcia has already fought over five times. The fight with Thurman will be the biggest fight of Garcia’s career. A victory will garner him the respect that has eluded him for most of his career.
Before Garcia faces Thurman tonight it’s important to note that this isn’t the first time Garcia has been in a fight to see who is the best in the division. Unlike Thurman, Garcia has already been crowned as the king of a division. Let’s take a look back at some of Garcia’s best performances.
Erik Morales (52-9, 36 KOs) – March 24, 2012
Let’s state the obvious Erik Morales was not even close to his prime when he stepped in the ring with Garcia. Morales was in the middle of a comeback after a rough 2006 that saw him lose twice to Manny Pacquiao. This was at 130-pounds and six years before facing Garcia. Morales made a return to the ring in 2010 fighting three times and in 2011 memorably challenged Marcos Maidana to a war where one of his eyes closed at the beginning of the match.
Morales was able to secure a title shot for the vacant WBC 140-pound championship against Pablo Cesar Cano in September 2011. The Tijuana-native stopped Cano in the 10th round to become the first Mexican fighter to win titles in four weight classes.
Morales would then face Garcia in his next fight where he lost his title at the scales. Even with all the advantages Garcia had entering the fight with Morales, the veteran was able to trouble Garcia. Morales set traps for Garcia throughout and gave the impression that if he were in his prime Morales may have easily defeated Garcia.
This was a learning experience for Garcia as he went twelve hard rounds with a veteran and had to dig deep to pull off the victory. Garcia scored a knockdown in the 11th round with his patented left hook, which secured him the victory in the eyes of most observers. The judges had the bout wider giving Garcia a unanimous decision victory with scores of 117-110, 116-112, and 118-109.
Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) – July 14, 2012
Heading into the fight with Amir Khan, Garcia was the underdog by a wide margin. Khan under the tutelage of Freddie Roach had garnered victories over Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, and Zab Judah in mostly dominating fashion. Khan was coming off a controversial loss to Lamont Peterson who he was supposed to face in a rematch in May of 2012. Peterson failed a drug test causing the bout to be canceled and putting a cloud over his victory over Khan the previous year.
The fight started off with Khan’s hand speed making a big difference. Khan was able to get in and out on Garcia while landing combinations. By the end of the second round, Garcia’s face had shown the appearance hat he wasn’t getting the best of the action in the ring.
Fortunately for Garcia for all of the speed and skill that Khan possesses,’ he tends to have a lapse in focus. Garcia was already starting to get used to Khan’s speed and land some punches of his own, but at the end of the third round, Khan gave Garcia the perfect opening. Khan stayed on the inside too long, and it cost him. Garcia landed a no-look left hook that put Khan down.
Khan barely made it out of the third round. The fourth round saw the end come for Khan as Garcia was now unloading on him with power punches. Khan survived most of the round, but after two more knockdowns, the referee stopped the fight.
Garcia was now not just a titleholder in the 140-pound division but arguably the best in the division. The victory over Khan was huge as Khan was regarded as one of the best fighters in the world at the time.
Lucas Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) – September 14, 2013
The fight with Lucas Matthysse took place on the undercard of the Mayweather-Canelo PPV and was regarded as unprecedented as one of the most anticipated bouts in boxing was on the same card as the biggest boxing event of the year. Once again Garcia was the underdog going into the fight with Matthysse. The Argentinian fighter was coming off of the biggest win of his career with a third round stoppage over Lamont Peterson.
Many felt that Garcia had won his title over an old Erik Morales, got lucky against Amir Khan, and had lost many of the championship rounds against Zab Judah just the fight before who is usually known as a front runner.
There was a large segment of boxing fans that felt that Matthysse would continue his run of knockouts facing Garcia. The fight played out differently inside the ring.
The first half of the fight Matthysse was able to back Garcia up and win most of the rounds. The match changed in the second half as Garcia’s punches began having an effect on Matthysse as his right eye began to close. Garcia was able to score a knockdown in the 11th round to secure a close unanimous decision. The scores were 115-111, and 114-112 twice. The victory cemented Garcia as the man in the 140-pound division.
Tonight against Thurman, Garcia once again can be the man in a division.
(Feature Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)