Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia: Philly Cheese Stakes



Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia: Philly Cheese Stakes

For consecutive weeks, another unheralded fighter named Vargas will challenge a big name in boxing. But unlike Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao (who once again claimed the WBO welterweight belt by spanking Jesse Vargas over 12 rounds), WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia needs to make sure Sammy Vargas gets KTFO at Temple University tonight in his hometown of Philadelphia on SPIKE.

“The best performance of my career, I think, was against Lucas Matthysse,” dropped Garcia. “I was a 3-1 underdog, he was knocking everybody out. I don't think one person in the world thought I'd win that fight, but I knew deep in my heart I was the better fighter.”

That spectacular victory (on the undercard of “Mayweather/Canelo: The One”) put “Swift” on the cusp of superstardom, but somehow, has lead to a perceived descent in his overall ability. Whether fair or not, Garcia has been plagued by comparisons to that fight ever since.

It all started with a March 2014 trip to his native Puerto Rico and a super lightweight defense against the crafty Mauricio Herrera. Garcia was out-everything'd by Herrera on the way to a gift decision. Things didn't really get any better in his next outing (a brutal dismissal of telemarketer Rod Salka, someone Hillary Clinton beats), and two more fights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn raised more eyebrows.

Danny barely survived a hungry Lamont Peterson in April 2015, and probably gets KO'd in an old school 13th round. This is the same Peterson who was obliterated by Matthysse to set up his big fight with Garcia.

Swift looked slow in August 2015 against an aging pitcher in Paulie Malignaggi (8th round stoppage), who managed to frustrate the homerun swinger without a fastball. So we weren't really surprised when it happened again, in a 12-round WBC title winning effort against bald tire Robert Guerrero. Usually, the WBC champion in any division is considered the best fighter, but would you consider Danny Garcia a favorite over any other champion at 147?

WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman, who has verbally taunted Garcia for nearly two years, looms on the horizon in March 2017 to truly test his merit.

“Danny's a tough out for anybody at 147, and I came up with him and Thurman,” said WBC/WBO super lightweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford, on hand in Las Vegas for Pacquiao/Vargas. “He knows the stakes are high.”

He better.

Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.