Even though he won both fights, Danny Garcia’s mood at Barclays Center was significantly more upbeat Saturday night after beating Paulie Malignaggi than it was after he defeated Lamont Peterson in April at the same venue.
Danny Garcia dominated Paulie Malignaggi almost from the opening bell in the latter’s hometown of Brooklyn, New York, sustaining a two-fisted attack, landing precision punches to the head and body, and overpowering his older opponent with constant pressure.
“I walked him down, cut off the ring and just let my hands go,” Garcia said. “I was getting to him whenever I wanted to. I felt as strong in the first round as I was in the last."
Making his debut at 147 pounds, Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) remained unbeaten with a ninth-round technical knockout of Malignaggi (33-7, 7 KOs). The dominating performance was far different than Garcia’s showing against Peterson, in which the Philadelphia native won a tight majority decision.
Garcia often struggled to generate any offense against Peterson, admittedly fading and lacking steam and punching intensity. He seemed rejuvenated Saturday fighting at a heavier weight.
“Being at 140 was taking its toll on him," said Garcia’s father and trainer, Angel Garcia. "After eight years of cutting weight, it was time for Danny to move up. That's why you saw a different Danny Garcia tonight."
Malignaggi praised his opponent after the fight.
“In the moments where I started to come on, Danny made a smart adjustment by jabbing me harder on the left side of my chest," Malignaggi said. “Danny is a smart fighter who punches with you. He’ll bring up his hook when you make the exchange. He's a great fighter with a great trainer. I don’t have any qualms about losing to him."
After defending his 140-pound title five times, Garcia is now ready for “the new chapter of my career at 147.”
“I just want the best fights for the most money at the end of the day,” said Garcia, who mentioned potential bouts against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. “I'm ready for the best at 147. At the same time, we have to be smart and do what's best for Danny Garcia.”
For a complete look back at Garcia vs Malignaggi, visit our fight page.