On September 14, Danny “Swift” Garcia will be facing Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse on SHOWTIME PPV as the co-main event to Floyd Mayweather vs “Canelo” Alvarez. Much has been said about both young fighters as they climbed the ranks and into the position that they will be taking this September. On one side we’ve got a hard-hitting, ruthless power-puncher in Matthysse, with his last defeat coming two years ago in a controversial split-decision and being praised by CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Richard Schaefer as “The next Manny Pacquiao”. On the other side, we’ve got an undefeated, quick handed, fighter from Philadelphia with an explosive left hook in Danny Garcia.
The odd thing about this match-up is the intrigue among the boxing community, yet somehow the focus on social media outlets by fans, although not blatantly saying it, are practically considering this a mismatch in favor of Matthysse.
There are plenty of fans that consider Garcia’s position lucky with criticisms such as “he’s fighting fighters passed their prime” or “fighting guys with a glass jaw”. His affiliation with Al Haymon being part of the criticisms citing that he’s been spoon-fed. His father, the outspoken and brutally honest Angel Garcia has not made it easy for some fans to embrace the 25 year old.
Before winning the WBC light welterweight title from Erik Morales, Garcia’s relevance was relatively obscure. While he was defeating Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt previously in dominating fashion, Morales gave Marcos Maidana the fight of his life and defeated Pablo Cesar Cano soundly; Both worthy opposition.
So when Garcia defeated Morales, fans for some reason were just not convinced of this kid from Philly just yet. They needed him to fight someone younger and in their prime. So after Lamont Peterson got busted for PEDs cancelling their rematch, it left Amir Khan without an opponent. The call was then made for Amir Khan and Danny Garcia to face each other and unify the titles.
When Danny Garcia defeated Amir Khan last year, almost immediately the cries of a “lucky” punch occurred. Garcia would land a swift (no pun intended) left hook to the temple that would signal the beginning of the end for Khan in that fight. Khan was dominating the fight for the first couple of rounds but it was the knockdown in the third that was the game changer, But lucky? Not so. It’s almost common knowledge in the sweet science to tuck your chin. It’s defense 101, especially when throwing a counter-punch.
October of 2012 a rematch was made with Morales. Garcia would knock him out in the 4th round and the calls for him to face better opposition were back up. Then a Zab Judah fight would get made and fans would write off Judah in this fight, not because Garcia is a great fighter, but because Zab is considered a shot fighter. Garcia would go on to defeat Judah by unanimous decision and of course very few were convinced of what “Swift” had to offer.
Enter Lucas Matthysse. After weeks of no announcement on this highly anticipated fight or barely any reports on progress, many observers were ruling this a blatant “duck” on the part of Team Garcia. The lack of comment by Team Garcia only furthered the calls. Eventually the fight would be made official.
The fight on September 14 is not just some title defense. It’s about respect and proving to the world that Danny “Swift” Garcia is the real deal. He is facing a prime fighter with heavy hands that his detractors feel will put a stop to his reign as champion and put an end to his undefeated record. One should never count out a fighter that has something to prove. A twitter post from Garcia’s account after the fight was announced read:
“My ambition for this fight is like no other!” – @DannySwift
Clearly, he understands what is at stake.
– Alex Aviles
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