Danny Garcia vs. Paulie Malignaggi possible for August 1; Daniel Jacobs vs. Sergio More or Mathew Macklin
By Dan Ambrose: 27-year-old WBA/WBC 140lb champion Danny Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) is expected to be back in the ring in less than two months against 34-year-old former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) kin a fight at welterweight on August 1st on Premier Boxing Champions from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that the fight is in the works. If the fight does come off, Garcia would be taking his third straight fight at welterweight. It’s unclear when he’ll be officially stripped of his WBA/WBC 140lb titles because Garcia hasn’t defended them since March of 2014.
The WBA and WBC are really doing Garcia a huge favor in not stripping him already because he’s kind of hijacked the titles by failing to defend them for over a year now. The contenders at 140 are watching their careers get wasted without getting a title shot at either of those two belts, and it’s surprising that the WBA and WBC are letting it take place.
Garcia has been taking it very, very slow in moving up to welterweight instead of moving up all at once. He’s already had two catch-weight fights at 142 against little Rod Salka and 143 against Lamont Peterson in the welterweight division. The Malignaggi fight would be Garcia’s third. The thing is Garcia isn’t doing himself any favors by facing non-welterweights at catch-weights because these fighters aren’t preparing him for what he’ll be facing at 147. Does anyone really think that lightweight Rod Salka and Malignaggi can help prepare Garcia for fighting the likes of Marcos Maidana, Kell Brook or Keith Thurman? Those guys are huge punchers with a lot of size. Malignaggi can’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag, and lightweight Salka and Peterson aren’t much better.
Garcia won a very close 12 round majority decision in his last fight against Lamont Peterson last April on the 11th in a fight at 143. Peterson took control over the fight in the 6th round, and battered Garcia in the 2nd half of the fight. Garcia was very lucky that Peterson fought timidly in the first half of the fight, because if he’d fought as aggressively as he did in the 2nd half, Garcia would have lost.
As it is, Garcia’s stock really went down with that fight, and many people saw it as a loss for him rather than a win. Like in his previous close fights against Lucas Matthysse and Mauricio Herrera, Garcia feels that he doesn’t need to face Peterson again, as he believes he easily won the fight by 4 rounds. Boxing fans feel differently, and they saw the fight as a case of Garcia getting lucky again.
Garcia was on top of the world after his win over Matthysse in 2013, but ever since then, he’s really gone downhill with his fights against Salka, Herrera and Peterson. Now it looks like he’s going to further hurt his image by fighting Malignaggi, a fighter who hasn’t fought since getting blasted out in 4 rounds by Shawn Porter in April of 2014.
Malignaggi looked so bad in that fight that he really has no business getting a major fight off the back of that. He should be looking for a comeback fight against a 2nd tier guy rather than facing Garcia. Malignaggi was scheduled to fight last month against little known Danny O’Connor on May 29th on the Amir Khan vs. Chris Algieri card, but Malignaggi suffered a cut in training camp and couldn’t take the fight.
Malignaggi is up there in age. Garcia might be making a mistake in taking this fight because I wouldn’t be surprised if Malignaggi gets injured training again and can’t take the fight. Garcia would then be stuck with having to fight a replacement opponent.
In the co-feature, WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs), who many boxing fans see as a paper champion, will be fighting either Matthew Macklin (32-6, 21 KOs) or former WBA junior middleweight champion Sergio Mora (28-3-2, 9 KOs). Both are safe fights for Jacobs, who really hasn’t taken on a quality fighter since his 5th round knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog in 2010. Since that fight, Jacobs has won his last eight fights against B and C level opposition. He’s yet to fight anyone good since being beaten by Pirog.
In his last four fights, Jacobs has beaten Caleb Truax, Jarrod Fletcher, Milton Nunez and Giovanni Lorenzo. Macklin and Mora fit in with that group in terms of talent. It’s unclear when Jacobs will take on a good middleweight. Gennady Golovkin would like to fight Jacobs, but that fight won’t take place until the World Boxing Association pushes for it to happen, and thus far they’ve not been in a hurry to make it happen. That’s obviously a good thing for Jacobs because he likely wouldn’t last more than two or three rounds against Golovkin.
Macklin won his last fight in May in beating a little known fighter named Sandor Micsko by a 2nd round knockout. Before that, Macklin was destroyed by Jorge Sebastian Heiland in 10 round in November last year. The 34-year-old Mora has a five fight winning streak going since his loss to Brian Vera in 2012. In his last fight, Mora defeated ESPN regular Abraham Han by a close 12 round split decision last February. Mora did not look good in that fight, as he went life and death with a mediocre fighter.