Will Danny Garcia face Errol Spence after Brandon Rios fight?
By Dan Ambrose: Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) now finds himself in a situation where he’s no longer a world champion, and he’s got to fight the lions like IBF World welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) and WBA/WBC 147 lb. champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) if he wants to regain his championship status in the division.
Garcia recently stated that he’s the most popular fighter in the welterweight division. That may be true, but that popularity for the 28-year-old Philadelphia native is not going to remain where it is if he’s just a contender fighting faded fighters like Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs), Robert Guerrero and Paulie Malignaggi.
Garcia will be fighting the 31-year-old Rios this month on Showtime Boxing on February 17 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Garcia could have fought for a world title against Spence, but he wanted to fight Rios, who has fought only 1 time in the last 2 years in beating journeyman Aaron Herrera last June.
Last January, Garcia explained how to beat Errol Spence in remarking that you must force him into a place where he’s never been before.
“You’ve got to take him to a place he’s never been before,” Danny Garcia said to Fighthype about Spence. “That’s it. Only he knows where that’s at.”
Garcia seems to be the expert in how to beat Spence. We’ll have to see if Garcia is willing to face Spence if he gets past Brandon Rios this month in their fight on February 17th on Showtime. The 28-year-old Spence is fighting on June 16th against a still to be determined opponent on Showtime in Dallas, Texas. With Spence still in need of an opponent for that date, Danny Garcia, 29, could easily ask for and be given the fight if he lets his adviser Al Haymon know about it.
There’s 4 months between Garcia’s fight against Rios this month and Spence’s next fight date on 6/16 in Dallas. If Garcia wants that action against Spence, the fight is there for the taking. Of course, if Garcia doesn’t want any part of Spence, he can always look to find another Rios-type of fighter to keep fighting on Showtime. Obviously, there are only so many fading former world champions for Garcia to fight. I don’t think Garcia is going to get Amir ‘King’ Khan to fight him this year, because he’s being groomed for a big money match against Kell Brook for later this year. Garcia already beat Lamont Peterson, so it would be pointless for him to face him again. Besides, Spence just finished stopping Peterson in the 7th round last month on January 20th on Showtime. It would look bad for Garcia to go after Spence’s leftovers, as it would put him in a secondary position to him. At 29, Garcia is too far along in his career to be taking tune-up fights still. He’s wasting his career by not fighting for world titles when the opportunity is there for him.
It would be best for Danny Garcia to take the fight with Spence on June 16th and do the best he can. If Garcia gets beaten by Spence, then it’s a good thing because he’ll realize finally that he lacks the talent to be a world champion at 147. Garcia can then move back down to 140 and try and pick up where he left off as the WBA/WBA 140 lb. champion. It might be a little more difficult for Garcia to win a world title at light welterweight now, because he’ll have to go through the likes of the winner of Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam if he wants the WBC belt. The other titles – IBF, WBA & WBO – are winnable ones for Garcia.
For the time being, Garcia needs to worry about getting past Rios on February 17. Rios looking in tip top shape and looking to pull off a big upset this month to resurrect his career. This is Rio’s Super Bowl. His career is seen as already over with in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, so he’s got everything to gain and nothing to lose. Garcia is treating Rios like a payday, a foxhole of sorts to avoid having to fight the dangerous guys like Shawn Porter and Spence. The thing is, Garcia struggles against pressure fighters. Garcia basically lost to Mauricio Herrera in March 2014, but was given a controversial 12 round majority decision. Garcia also struggled against Lucas Matthysse in the second half of their fight in 2013. Garcia won, but only because he was hitting Matthysse with low blows left and right. It was a low blow clinic by Garcia on the night. Poor Matthysse was getting nailed left and right with low blows while the referee just stood and watched without doing anything. We saw that in his controversial 12 round majority decision win over Lamont Peterson in April 2015, and in his fight with Thurman last March. When Thurman was coming forward putting pressure on Garcia in the first 6 rounds of the fight, he was clowning him and making him look incredibly bad. It was only after Thurman backed off in the last 6 rounds that Garcia was able to have his moments in the fight. Garcia still lost through, and he would have lost badly had Thurman kept pressuring him. Rios knows what the blueprint is to beat Garcia, and you can expect him to be putting huge pressure on him from the 1st round.