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Danny Garcia: I should have been a pound-for-pound fighter a long time ago

Danny Garcia Robert GuerreroBy Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten #2 WBC Danny Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) will be going into this Saturday’s fight with a big chip on his shoulder when he battles for the vacant WBC welterweight title against #6 WBC Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (33-3-1, 18 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Sports from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The unbeaten Garcia feels that he should have already been on Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list by this point in his career for his years of holding down the WBA/WBC 140lb titles. However, Ring Magazine has kept the 27-year-old Garcia out of their top 10 pound-for-pound ratings for some reason.

It could be that Garcia did not look impressive in winning a controversial 12 round majority decision over Mauricio Herrera in March 2014. It could also be that Ring wasn’t impressed with Garcia’s less than spectacular win over Lamont Peterson last year.

Garcia fought well for six rounds, and then went into near collapse in the second half of the fight, as he retreated from the heavy pressure Peterson was putting on him. Garcia’s biggest win of his career came against Lucas Matthysse in 2013, and even that wasn’t a great fight for Garcia. He was hitting Matthysse low all night long, and the low blows seemed to change the course of the fight, making Matthysse less aggressive.

“I really don’t know what it is,” Garcia said to ringtv.com about why he’s not ranked in the pound-for-pound rankings. “With boxing, there’s a lot of politics in the sport. It’s just people (in the media) whoever they like, they rank you. I was the junior welterweight world champion for three years. I defended my title five times, and in two of those fights, I was the underdog. To me, I should have been a pound-for-pound fighter a long time ago,” Garcia said.

I don’t think Garcia rates as a pound-for-pound guy in my opinion. If Garcia were to have turned around and cleared up the controversy surrounding his fights against Peterson and Herrera, then I think that would help him in possibly getting a spot on the pound-for-pound rankings. But with the way that Garcia moved on after those controversial fights without clearing them up, it just looks to some boxing fans like Garcia was happy to get out of those fights anyway he could.

To be considered one of the best, you’ve got to be able to win your fights without controversy. If it’s happening over and over again, and you’re just moving on and ignoring the controversy, then I think it’s going to hurt you with things like the pound-for-pound rankings.

In the last two years, I think Garcia has lost a ton of fans over his performances against Herrera and Peterson. I also think Garcia wasn’t helped in him choosing to fight lightweight Rod Salka and the over-the-hill 35-year-old Paulie Malignaggi. Those fights shouldn’t have happened if Garcia was mindful about his reputation in the boxing world. It made Garcia look bad in fighting Salka and Malignaggi, especially with those fights being sandwiched between Garcia’s controversial fights against Herrera and Peterson.

What further hurt Garcia is that he didn’t fight Viktor Postol, when he his mandatory. Garcia maneuvered around Postol to take the fight against Peterson, with the belief by some that the Garcia-Peterson fight would be a unification fight with Peterson’s IBF title being on the line and Garcia’s WBA and WBC titles. Instead, the fight took place at a catch-weight of 143lbs with neither fighters’ titles being on the line.

After beating Peterson, Garcia opted not to take the fight against Postol, and instead he complained that it was too hard to make 140 and that he was moving up to 147. It came across to some boxing fans that Garcia ducked the Postol fight. That kind of thing didn’t help Garcia’s popularity, because it just looked like he was trying to protect his unbeaten record.

“I have a child now so I have to be a lot smarter in and out of the ring,” Garcia said. “I can’t take unnecessary punishment, because I know protecting my future protects her future. It’s all about acquiring assets and getting out there more. I think that’s what this fight will do for me (on national TV).”

I guess we might not be seeing a war between Garcia and Guerrero this Saturday like some fans had thought. If Garcia is going to be looking to avoid punishment because of him having a child now, then he might try and box Guerrero instead of slugging it out with him. In that case, then the fight could wind up being really boring. Garcia did a lot of boxing in his fight against Matthysse in 2013, and that was not the most thrilling fight to watch. Garcia jabbed, moved, clinched and threw a lot of low blows. It was not a pretty fight to watch.


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