Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing
Danny “Swift” Garcia made his move up in weight to the 147 pound Welterweight division with a ninth-rounde stoppage this past Saturday night, over Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi.
His successful move up to Welterweight leaves fans wondering, what is next for Danny Garcia?
Garcia is a young prospect with an impressive pedigree, for being only 27 years old, as he now holds a perfect 31-win record. His performance on Saturday night however was not as impressive as some expected, although he did manage to dominate Malignaggi throughout the fight.
Malignaggi took a lot of punishment as he never seemed to get in a steady rhythm or find a successful game plan to counter the damaging punches from Garcia. Neither fighter was very active, nor accurate. Garcia was although the more dominant of the two and able to cause punishment to the 34-year-old Malignaggi. Malignaggi will likely retire from boxing and continue his career as a well-respected commentator.
Garcia is willing to face WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman or the former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter next, if his adviser Al Haymon is interested in makes those fights. Garcia has been well protected in the selection of his opponents by his Haymon, so it is not of any surprise that Garcia will elect to continue do exactly what Haymon wants.
“Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are great fighters in this division, and they’re both represented by Al Haymon, so if they want, we can make it happen,” said Garcia via ESPN.com. “I want whoever Al Haymon wants. It’s been that way my whole career, and it’s not going to change now. I will take anyone at 147.”
It was obvious that Malignaggi was not on the top of his game, so defeating him in a sub-par performance should leave those advising Garcia feeling less confident in putting him up against the top fighters at 147 pounds such as Thurman, Porter or even a rematch against Amir Khan.
If Haymon wants to protect Garcia and his record, he would likely avoid a bout with Thurman as he is a very quick and powerful puncher with solid defense. Garcia looked inaccurate on Saturday, landing just 25 percent of his punches according to CompuBox statistics. This match would likely lean very little success in Garcia’s favor.
A match against Porter (rather than Thurman) could lean more to Garcia’s strengths as Porter is physical fighter with an awkward aggressive style. This type close quarters fight could work well for Garcia as he known best for his dominating left hook, but would still leave Garcia the underdog.
It looks as though Garcia’s best interest might be best to take one more “welcome to 147” fight in an attempt to shake off his training wheels before really coming for the big boys. If that is the case, perhaps a fight could be made with Karim Mayfield, who has recently made headlines as he was high on the list for Mayweather’s September opponent list.
Mayfield called out Garcia back in 2013 and has since told Ring TV that he’s still interested in the fight.
“I’ve been calling Danny Garcia out for the last couple of years, but he’s been running from me,” said Mayfield.
Mayfield, like Porter, is a very powerful inside fighter which could play to the strengths of Garcia and his left hook. The odds for this fight would no doubt have Garcia as the favored winner. Perhaps it is finally time for the two to settle their beef inside the ring.
Garcia would highly benefit by keeping is record unblemished until Floyd Mayweather retires before he makes his path towards a title shot. After Saturday night’s weak performance, I foresee Haymon keeping the training wheels on Garcia a little longer, rather than feeding him to the 147 pound wolves.
Time should soon reveal who is next for Danny Garcia as he is expected to fight again by the end of the year. Will Al Haymon finally let go of Danny Garcia’s bicycle seat and allow him to ride toward a Welterweight title shot?