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Danny Garcia interested in Thurman and Porter fights

Danny Garcia Keith Thurman Paulie Malignaggi Shawn Porter(Photo credit: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions) By Dan Ambrose: Fresh off of his 9th round stoppage win over high level journeyman Paulie Malignaggi (33-7, 7 KOs) last Saturday night, former 140lb champion Danny Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) says he’s willing to face WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman or former IBF 147lb champ Shawn Porter next, as long as his adviser Al Haymon is interested in making one of those fights for him.

Garcia says he’s willing to do whatever Haymon wants to do. That could be a good thing or could be a bad thing if Haymon elects to continue to be very strategic in the types of fights he makes for Garcia.

“[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 would welcome surprise if Haymon chooses to pit Garcia against Porter or Thurman next. It would give boxing fans a chance to see if Garcia is cut out for the welterweight division or if he’s just another overhyped fighter who was arguably beaten twice at 140 in fights where he was given controversial decisions. Garcia can’t continue to fight guys like Malignaggi and Rod Salka if he wants boxing fans to jump on the band wagon.

I don’t think Garcia fooled anyone by facing Malignaggi last night. Even the casual boxing fans had to have noticed how weak and inept Malignaggi was compared to the fighters that they’ve become accustomed to seeing. These fans aren’t likely going to think that Garcia is the greatest fighter in boxing after his stoppage win over Malignaggi. They’re going to see it as a case of Garcia beating a fighter who had no punching power or talent to give him any problems.

Garcia landed 121 of 485 punches for a connect percentage of just 25%, according to CompuBox. In contrast, Malignaggi landed 77 of 335 punches for a connect percentage of 23. It’s hard to believe that Malignaggi landed only 77 punches.

“I feel strong, I feel good. I used my jab,” said Garcia. “I still have things to work on, but I’m proud of myself — 147 is where it’s at. I felt a lot stronger [at 147]. In the ninth round, I felt like it was round 1. I need to work on shortening up punches and sticking with the game plan.”

Garcia missed with a lot of his punches last night, and if it had been someone with size, punching power and hand speed, Garcia would have been paid back big time for each miss. Garcia has a long ways to go before he amounts to anything in the 147lb division. Garcia’s defects can be disguised for a little while as long as Haymon is matching him against guys like Salka and Malignaggi, but when he finally has to put him in with someone good like Errol Spence Jr., Thurman, Kell Brook, Marcos Maidana or Shawn Porter, I think it’s going to be over for Garcia.

Even if Garcia faces Lamont Peterson again, I see him losing that fight too. Unless the goal is to keep Garcia unbeaten until he gets a big money cash out fight against the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, I see no point in Haymon waiting to match him tough at welterweight. He’s going to have to do it sooner or later. It’s not helping Garcia to be matched so weakly unless the idea is to keep him unbeaten long enough to get that one big money fight where it won’t matter if he gets easily beaten and badly schooled.

It’s quite possible that Garcia will be matched weakly until Mayweather vacates his WBA/WBC welterweight titles in 2016, or whenever he retires. Garcia would then look to go after one of those titles, and look to sit on the title for as long as possible, which may not be very long if he has to face someone good. I could see Garcia milking a welterweight title for a while by taking easy voluntary defenses of two or three, and then perhaps lucking out with the WBA or WBC ranking poor contenders as the No.1 mandatory challengers to the title.

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