Current WBC, WBA, and Ring Light Welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) is set to face Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (18-3, 7 KOs) this Saturday, March 15, 2014.
Garcia is coming off a spectacular unanimous decision win over Lucas Matthysse on September 14, 2013. Many would argue that the victory over the hard-hitting Argentine solidified Garcia’s status as a champion in the ring.
As each defense of a champion’s title comes, the expectations for his performances become greater.
Although many names filtered the scene, the announcement may have come as a shock to mainstream boxing fans when Herrera was named as Garcia’s next opponent.
Herrera is coming off of two consecutive losses, the last being to Karim Mayfield on October 27, 2012 by way of unanimous decision.
Herrera is currently ranked No. 4 by the WBA, and No. 10 by the WBC. It may raise some questions as to just how effective he will match up against Garcia, however, it is certainly an opportunity that Herrera was unwilling to pass up.
Although Herrera may not have been the ideal choice, he has proven his ability to defeat top contenders.
On January 7, 2011, Herrera defeated the current WBO Light Welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov by way of unanimous decision.
When it comes to previous events, one could certainly say that no two fighters ever match up the same. Despite their previous opponents, there is only one way to determine the outcome of a matchup and that is in the ring.
When comparing the styles of these two fighters, it is likely that this fight will be one of patience. Both Garcia and Herrera are known for counterpunching.
With that being said, it is probable that fans will be less likely to see explosive exchanges during the opening rounds.
Photo by William Trillo
Although Herrera has been battle tested against hard hitting fighters such as Mayfield, Mike Alvarado and Provodnikov, his ability to endure the impact of Garcia’s explosive left hook remains to be seen.
It will be necessary for Herrera to stay clear of the center of the ring and focus his counter attack near the ropes.
On that same note, he must also successfully maneuver around the ring to avoid getting trapped. In his previous fights, Garcia has established his ability to cut the ring off with precision.
This has proven difficult for opponents to manage, landing many in a swift fatal funnel of combinations set forth by Garcia.
This fight however is not completely one sided. Just as Herrera must adjust, so must Garcia.
In order to stay effective, Garcia must caution his momentum when throwing punches. As we have seen in the past, Garcia at times over compensates while throwing a left hook. In doing so, he places himself off balance and exposes his body.
It is during these times that Herrera has the ability to capitalize with a right cross upstairs, or a hook to the body.
If Herrera can manage to take advantage of these openings and keep Garcia turning, the tempo of the fight can certainly change.
The key to Herrera’s offense is working both the head and body. Garcia is a well-seasoned and conditioned fighter who has shown the ability to absorb heavy blows.
If Herrera is unable to break down the body, his chances for defeat increase as each round passes.
There are certainly too many scenarios to predetermine this fights outcome. Should this fight prove to be one of patience, we will probably see this ending in a decision favoring the current champion.
Although, the chance of Garcia knocking out Herrera is highly realistic, this fights outcome really breaks down to strategy.
In retrospect, the momentum and pace of this bout is likely to be the choice of Garcia. The important question that won’t be answered until fight night is if Garcia prepared for a championship fight or simply a tune-up.
One can never underestimate the ability of an opponent and that is really the biggest question that has the highest possibility of changing the outcome.