Saturday night February 17, Danny Garcia and Brandon Rios went toe-to-toe in the main event on Showtime Boxing in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
The card averaged 516,000 viewers which is arguably low for Showtime Boxing events— yet this isn’t surprising because on paper and in reality, Garcia vs. Rios was a terrible mismatch.
The bout lasted nine rounds with Rios eating punches and throwing less powerful shots back—Rios looked tired and simply not as polished as he once was.
Coming off of an 11-month hiatus following his 12-round split decision loss to the WBA 147-pound champion Keith Thurman in March of last year, Garcia was able to knock Rios out with a right hand in Round 9. Danny Garcia improved his record to 34-1 with 20 knockouts.
In all honesty, Garcia vs. Rios isn’t and would have never been a great matchup even when Rios was in his prime. This wasn’t an ideal matchup for either fighter and most definitely not for boxing fans. With a win under Garcia’s belt after the long layoff, what is next for Danny “Swift” Garcia?
Though Rios is far from stiff competition in the Welterweight division, Garcia did prove he’s still a high level contender Saturday night. Garcia is going to have to take some big risks in order to win another world title in the 147-pound division with the belts being held by Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Lucas Matthysse and soon Terence Crawford.
The WBA Super World Welterweight and WBC World Welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) has back-to-back mandatory challenges in his future. At the moment, Shawn Porter is his mandatory challenger under the WBC. Thurman beat Porter in 2016 via unanimous decision.
The next mandatory bout will be against Danny Garcia, Saturday nights bout against Rios was a WBC final eliminator. Both Garcia and Porter haven’t been shy about demanding a rematch against Thurman.
A rematch between Garcia and Thurman would pose yet another huge challenge for Garcia. I believe Garcia would come more aggressive to try to surprise Thurman. I think Thurman vs. Garcia 2 would be a close bout and it would come down to whomever has the better game plan and executes it.
Though a rematch between Thurman and Garcia is likely the biggest draw for boxing fans, fights against Spence Jr., Matthysse and Crawford would also make for great matchups and be a jump up in competition for Garcia. Though I don’t think Garcia goes down easy in any of these bouts, I believe his best chance of winning is against Lucas Matthysse.
Regardless of who Garcia faces next, he is going to have to step up his game and take risks if he wants to regain a title in the Welterweight division. 2018 should be a year of tests for Danny “Swift” Garcia–let’s hope he steps up to the challenge and fights at least one of these Welterweight champs.