If Boxing were any other sport in the United States, undefeated light welterweight champion Danny Garcia (27-0, 16 KO’s) would be considered it’s Cinderella team. The team, or in this case fighter, that’s supposed to lose yet somehow always finds a way to win. It’s not to often that someone can be considered the pound for pound champion of their division yet still be considered by the fans as a B level fighter. Welcome to the world of Danny Garcia, who this Saturday returns to his roots in Puerto Rico when he defends his belt against Mauricio Herrera (20-3, 7 KO’s).
Despite having two wins over Erik Morales, a win over Zab Judah, and knockout win over Amir Khan, and a win against whom many considered the most dangerous man in boxing over Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia is finding it out just how hard it is to prove to the fans that he’s the real deal. He’s made believers of some yet he still has a long way to go to prove to fans that he’s not just the Tim Tebow of boxing. He wants to show the fans that he’s going to keep winning.
So why is there doubt when it comes to Danny Garcia’s skills? There is a mixture of feelings when the name Danny Garcia is mentioned. One of them may have more to do with his father than him. The dislike of his father Angel Garcia has turned a negative eye towards Danny. People want to see him lose because of his insane father who has been known to say some not so politically correct things. Say what you want about Angel though, the guy knows how to hype up a fight. Another thing about Danny Garcia that fans may be turned off to is that he doesn’t do anything great in the ring. He just does everything good. He has a good chin, good boxing skills, good speed, good power, and good defense. Yet none of those are great with maybe the exception of his chin.
Another issue that fans have with Garcia that perhaps sway them from giving the credibility that he deserves is the way that he has defeated the top guys. He’s had split decision wins over average fighters like Ashley Theophane and Kendall Holt. Beating Erik Morales in 2012 and 2013 is very different from beating Erik Morales in 2005. He was well past his prime and many thought he should have never come out of retirement. The same can be said for his win over Zab Judah whose best years were well behind him before his loss to Danny Garcia. He’s been discredited for his win over Khan due to the land of a lucky punch that sent Khan onto the canvas and lead to a stoppage. Before that Khan was outclassing him. Finally, the win over the most feared man in boxing Lucas Matthysse has been discredited due to the fact that Matthysse’s eye shut in the seventh round and before that happened Danny Garcia was getting soundly beat so much so that his father had to smack him in the face in the corner. These type of wins have been met with critical reactions from fans.
A win is a win. Any team or person in sports will say it. Morales and Judah were veteran fighters. They are no easy task for anyone. Amir Khan may have been outboxing Garcia but that left hook that he landed to drop him was a perfectly timed punch that he had planned out. Was it lucky? Maybe, but it landed and helped him win the fight. Garcia was able to take some hard shots from Matthysse and not get stunned. He stuck to his game plan. A punch, even though it was just a jab, caused Matthysse’s eye to close. Say what you want but he caused that. These are not discredited wins. They are in fact very good ones.
Fans have often referred to Garcia as the Tim Tebow of boxing. They don’t think he’s great but he wins the fights by doing what he does. Garcia is out to prove that he is more than just lucky or good. He wants to prove that he is great. And whether or not fans believe that now, one thing is for sure, people are interested to watch Danny Garcia. All he has to do is keep winning to prove to the fans that he’s a great fighter that can contend with the likes of guys such as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. This weekend he has a tough Mauricio Herrera to defend his title against. While he is the clear favorite to win the critics would consider Herrera the type of fighter that could expose Garcia. For Garcia, whether it’s Mayweather or Herrera, every fight will be judged critically. He’ll need to go out there and not just win but do it impressively to shut some of his critics up.