There is nothing like summer in New York, and when boxing is hosted, all is well regardless of who is on the marquee. Former two-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-3) moves up in weight to face Jose Benavidez (27-1-1) at the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds. This is somewhat of a crossroads fight for both men as both need a win for two totally different reasons.
The last time we saw Danny Garcia was in December 2020, when he was being shut out by the current unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr (28-0). That version of Garcia wasn't impressive, and some thought it might be the end of a solid boxing career. The thirty-four-year-old Philly native took extended time off to figure some things out. So, the obvious question is, who Danny Garcia is in 2022? When speaking to him, before I posed that question, I asked if the discussion would be with Danny Garcia or Danny Montana? He laughed when I asked him because he tends to play up the Tony Montana character from Scarface on Instagram, which generates some laughs between him and those watching.
Returning to the original question, Garcia told NYF, “Danny Garcia is just new & improved and happier.” Obviously, with a significant layoff, some thoughts and life decisions were made that would affect his family's future. Garcia said, “Honestly, I just needed to rest. I feel great and I learned a lot about myself, especially when you have time to think. I definitely grew as a person. I bought real estate, traveled, and did music videos (laughs). I did a little bit of everything and had a lot of fun.”
Garcia has a unique magnet when it comes to getting fans to see him fight. It could be the six toes on his right foot or his outspoken father “Crazy” Angel. Whatever it is, fans always come out to show him support. Recently, it was the ten-year anniversary of him serving up Amir Khan and becoming the unified super lightweight champion. That victory put Garcia on the map and introduced him to the big stage. Looking back at that moment and all it's brought, Garcia has no regrets about how his career has gone in the last ten years. He said, “I don't regret anything. I love the process and everything I have been through, which is why I am here today.”
I mentioned his father/head coach Angel Garcia because he was always charged up at press conferences and during interviews. For a while, it seemed like everyone was waiting for what Angel would say during a press conference for a headline. Those days are long gone, and today's version of “Crazy” Angel is calmer and less crazy. Garcia spoke about his relationship with his father and how that has evolved. Garcia told NYF, “It got better and stronger. It grew just like any other relationship. You win, you lose, make money together, lose money together, so everything we have done has built us to this point.”
Garcia has also matured in many ways, and part of that led to a reality tv show that is solely focused on his family called “Garcia Family Business.” Aside from being a husband, he is also a father, and the show gets into that and everything surrounding the rest of the family. From watching the show, it is clear that Garcia's daughter has his number. He admits it and says, “My daughter is only six, so I can control her a little bit, but then again, I really can't because she is a girl, and she walks all over me. Definitely in the future, I'll have to deal with some stuff, and then I will probably have to take a page out of my father's (Angel) book.”
Returning to boxing, Garcia felt the time was right to move up to 154. He mentioned that it was “always my dream to fight in three divisions and be a world champion in three divisions” and that “it was a perfect time” to move to junior middleweight. His first fight in the new weight class is against Jose Benavidez the younger brother of David, but he doesn't have nearly the same punching power as the super middleweight monster. So what should we expect from Garcia on the 30th?
Garcia told NYF, “Expect a classic Danny Garcia, smarter, better, and more seasoned.” While exploring the idea of future fights, Garcia doesn't have a five-year plan or one he wanted to share with me. Garcia did end the call by saying, “For now, I'm taking it one fight at a time. All I know is that in five years, I'll be thirty-nine (laughs). That's all I know, so I'm just going to take it one fight at a time. I'm having fun with it and just enjoying the moment.”
My Three Cents
When Danny Garcia steps into the ring at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, he will certainly be received by a big crowd of his fellow supporters. Does the question then become whether we will see the version that shocked the world ten years ago or the one that couldn't seem to get his offense going in Dallas almost two years ago? Whichever one comes out, more than likely, everyone will be tuned into Showtime to see which version we get. But this is boxing and we may end up getting the performance of a lifetime from Jose Benavidez, so you never know. The interest level is certainly there for this junior middleweight fight in Brooklyn.