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Danny Garcia vs. Samuel Vargas on November 12

Danny Garcia Garcia vs. Vargas Samuel Vargas

By Jim Dower: Danny Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) will be fighting next month against little known #15 WBC fringe contender Samuel Vargas (25-2-1, 13 KOs) in a scheduled 10 round non-title fight on on November 12 on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike at the Liacouras Center, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Vargas is ranked #6 by the WBA. Vargas has never beaten a contender before.

For many fans, this is terribly disappointing news, because they were hoping the 28-year-old Garcia would break out of his three-year funk of facing poor opposition and would start facing quality opponents once again. Garcia’s fight against the Canadian based Vargas is being called a tune-up fight to get Garcia ready for a unification match against fellow PBC fighter WBA welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman in early 2017.

While it’s certainly great news that Garcia could be fighting Thurman, it’s still no excuse for a fighter in his 9th year as a pro to need a tune-up fight. Some boxing fans would argue that the ‘tune-up’ fight is just another excuse to get an easy payday fighting a guy that is totally out of Garcia’s league in Vargas.

Light welterweight contender John Molina Jr. and former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto were said to be briefly in discussions as potential opponents for Garcia’s next fight on November 12. Either of those fighters would have been world’s better options for Garcia than the bottom ranked Samuel Vargas in my opinion. I’m not saying that Berto or Molina Jr. would be great options for Garcia, but they would at least be a jump up from the likes of facing Vargas.

For Garcia, the fight against Vargas is his fourth weak opponent in his last five fights since his one good fight of his career against Lucas Matthysse in 2013. Garcia’s popularity was at an all-time high after beating Matthysse. Unfortunately, things have gone downhill for Garcia in terms of his weak match-making in the last three years with him fighting lightweight Rod Salka, Mauricio Herrera, Lamont Peterson, Paulie Malignaggi and Robert Guerrero.

Garcia’s fight against Guerrero was for the vacant WBC welterweight title last January. Guerrero was allowed to fight for the WBC title despite the fact that he’d lost two out of his last four fights. It was pretty sad that the World Boxing Council allowed Garcia to fight Guerrero rather than insisting that Garcia fight a higher quality contender like Shawn Porter or Errol Spence Jr. If Garcia had fought them, the chances are he wouldn’t be the WBC title today.

For Garcia to beat Thurman in 2017, it would be a huge shot of Adrenalin into his slumping career. It’s strange that a fighter that is a two division world champion like Garcia could be seen as slumping, but you have to realize that he stopped facing interesting opponents after his clinch-filled win over Matthysse in 2013. It’s not quite clear why Garcia stopped taking on the tough opponents.

Is it Garcia’s promoters’ fault that he’s been fighting easy opposition in the last three years or is this something that Garcia and his dad have asked for? It’s unknown. What is known is that Garcia needs to start fighting better opposition soon if he wants to get the most out of his boxing career. His fight against Samuel Vargas is a huge disappointment in the eyes of a lot of the boxing fans. If you look around the internet today, the news of Garcia fighting Vargas has made many fans very, very unhappy, because they were hopping he would start fighting good opponents once again instead of taking yet another soft guy.

Samuel Vargas was stopped in the 4th round by Errol Spence Jr. last year in June 2015. Vargas also has a 10 round unanimous decision loss to 37-year-old journeyman Paul Munguia (21-11, 12 KOs) in 2013. Munguia has lost seven out of his last nine fights, and yet one of those wins was against Vargas. With Vargas losing to a fighter like that, you have to ask the WBC what they were thinking of by putting Vargas as one of their contenders in their top 15 rankings. Surely, the WBC could find someone better than Vargas to rank No.15.

It’s good news that Garcia will fight Thurman next year. If that fight happens, and you never know if it will, the welterweight division will temporarily have a fighter that is considered to be the top dog at 147. You can’t say that the winner of the Garcia-Thurman fight is the true top fighter in the division, mainly because Garcia is seen as a vulnerable champion in holding down the WBC belt after barely beating Guerrero.

For the winner of the Garcia vs. Thurman fight to be seen as the true champion in the welterweight division, they’ll need to fight Spence Jr., and then the winner of the Jessie Vargas vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. With Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas being with Top Rank, it’s doubtful they’ll face the winner of the Thurman vs. Garcia fight.

Danny Garcia’s performance against Vargas will likely be compared with that of Errol Spence, who obliterated him in four rounds. If Garcia struggles to beat Vargas, then it’ll give the boxing fans a good chance to see where Garcia ranks in the pecking order of the top fighters in the 147lb division.

Garcia should have challenged himself a little by telling his management that he wanted a better fighter than Vargas as his opponent.

Garcia took a lot of heat last year for fighting 36-year-old Paulie Malignaggi in August 2015. This was Garcia’s first full fight at welterweight after he gave up his WBA/WBC 140lb titles due to him having problems making weight. Some fans believe that Garcia moved up to 147 to avoid fighting his WBC 140lb mandatory challenger Viktor Postol, who he appeared to swerve by taking on Lamont Peterson last April in a catch-weight fight at 143lbs. At the time, Garcia was given permission to put the Postol fight off so that he could face Peterson. It was thought that Garcia would then face Postol, as ordered by the WBC. Instead, Garcia moved up to welterweight without fighting Postol and took on Malignaggi followed by Robert Guerrero.

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