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Danny Garcia says he’ll try and end Brandon Rios’ career

Brandon Rios Danny Garcia

By Dan Ambrose: Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) says he’ll be looking to give former WBA lightweight champion Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) a career-ending beating this Saturday night on February 17 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be on Showtime.

(Photo credit: Chet Susslin/SHOWTIME)

Garcia, 29, doesn’t say why he wants to hurt Rios badly enough to end his career, as it’s supposed to be a sport and not a situation where you put guys out of business permanently. Perhaps Rios, 31, has gotten under Garcia’s skin with some of the comments he’s made about him in the media.

This fight is perceived a cherry pick by Garcia in selecting Rios, who is so far past his prime years that it’s not even funny. Rios has lost half of his fights in the last 5 years of his career, and he should have even more losses on his record. If Garcia doesn’t knockout Rios, it’s pointless for him to talk of wanting to fight Errol Spence Jr. or Keith Thurman. Garcia hasn’t been talking of wanting to fight Spence. He wants Terence Crawford to do that for him. When Garcia was asked if he’d be interested in fighting Spence, he said he should fight Terence Crawford, as if he must earn the right to fight him.

”I’m still the guy that can fight his [backside] off. I’m still the champion,” Garcia said. “I’m going to show the world once a champion always a champion. On February 17th, I’m going to show the world why I’m one of the best fighters in the world,” Garcia said.

Garcia is no longer a world champion. I’m not sure what he’s talking about in calling himself a champion. He lost his WBC welterweight title in his last fight to Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman on March 4 last year on Showtime Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Garcia took the last 11 months off from boxing despite not having an injury. He just wanted to have some time off, so he took the year and spent it relaxing. We’ll see how the time off from the ring has impacted his performance.

Garcia can call himself a world champion, but he’s not viewed as one by the hardcore boxing fans. Perhaps the casual fans might see Garcia as a champion if they’re not keeping up with the sport and don’t realize that he got beaten in his last fight. But then again, the casual boxing fans probably don’t know who Garcia is, because he’s not a big name like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

”I feel good. I’ve had my best performances in Vegas against Khan and Matthysse,” Garcia said. ”I had a lot of my undercard fights there. I like Vegas. I feel good. That’s where the stars fight. That’s the perfect place for me to come back. I’ve been working on boxing and I’ve been working on banging. It depends on how I feel that day. If I feel like I’m stronger than him and if I feel like I can get him out of there, then I’m going to get him out of there. If not, then I’ll go 12 rounds,” Garcia said.

Garcia needs to try and get a knockout, because if he doesn’t, Rios might take the fight to him and mess up his face the way Lamont Peterson did. Garcia is living off his wins over Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse in 2012 and 2013. Those were Garcia’s best victories of his career, and the fights took place a long time ago. We’re talking about fights that took place 5 and 6 years ago. Since then, Garcia has been largely fighting weaker opponents except for Lamont Peterson and Thurman. Garcia lost to Thurman, and he also lost to Peterson. He would have lost that fight if Peterson hadn’t waited until the second half of the fight to start pressuring him.

Garcia is thinking Rios will try and make it an ugly fight against him. Garcia says that he’ll be ready for that if it happens. Rios isn’t a dirty fighter. He’s a pressure fighter that throws a lot of body shots and big uppercuts in close. Rios fights clean. If Garcia views inside fighting as an ugly fight, then that’s his perception, but it’s not ugly fighting. Throwing low blows, rabbit punches, and head-butting is what I consider ugly fighting. Rios doesn’t do that. He just pressures like Gennady Golovkin and he likes to fight on the inside. Hopefully, Garcia doesn’t fight ugly like he did against Matthysse in hitting him with low blows throughout their fight in September 2013. Garcia lost 1 point for low blows in round 12, but he should have been docked earlier in the fight when he first started with the low blows.

”I think he’ll try and make it an ugly fight and he’s going to try and pressure and try and push the fight,” Garcia said. ”But I’m going to show him I’m the boss from round 1, and that’s what I’m working on. I’m just going in there, setting the pace, setting the tempo, getting my punches off and fighting a smart fight. I think Matthysse was a pressure fighter with punching power in both hands and pressured the whole night through. I don’t know if he’s as strong as Matthysse. Hell yeah, I’m trying to end him. That’s the only way,” Garcia said.

Terence Crawford already ended Rios’ career as a major world level fighter with his knockout win over him in the 9th round in November 2015. Garcia is late as far as ending Rios’ career. Garcia vs. Rios is all about those 2 getting pay checks without having to fight for a world title and getting beaten by Errol Spence or Thurman. Garcia isn’t going to be able comb through the list of over-the-hill fighters for too much longer, because there aren’t enough of them that the casual boxing fans will be interested in seeing him fight. Garcia-Rios is targeting the casual fans, as the hardcore fans see this as a cherry pick for Garcia in taking an easy mark in Rios instead of facing a good fighter like Shawn Porter and potentially losing.

Rios isn’t as powerful as Matthysse, but he hits hard enough to get the attention of his opponents. If Rios can land enough of his power shots, he can knock Garcia out like he did his last opponent Aaron Herrera last June. Garcia shouldn’t get too caught up in comparing Rios’ power with Matthysse, because it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t hit quite as hard as him. Rios hits hard enough to knock anyone out if he lands enough of his shots or if he connects in the right spot.

“Thurman’s done too. Everybody knows that,” Angel Garcia said about his theory that Thurman will never be the same fighter after he sustained an elbow injury in his fight with Garcia last March. ”Thurman’s done. We want Thurman, but we’ll take Brandon,” Angel said.

Garcia’s father Angel Garcia sounds deluded with his belief that Garcia has ended Thurman’s career. Thurman is going to be making a comeback in May, and he’ll likely be fine. Thurman already pointed out that he had the elbow injury before the Garcia fight, not during it.

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