It’s no secret that Danny Garcia and his father, Angel, come in the same package. Not only that, they're pretty darn funny when they're around each other.
Since Danny was 10, Angel has been by his side professionally as his primary coach, and has shaped Danny into the fighter he is today. Danny cites Angel Garcia as being his biggest inspiration in and out of the ring.
Danny and Angel spend the majority of their time together, hanging out, dancing and doing hilarious things, most of which become social media gold. Here are the top moments Danny and Angel Garcia proved they are one of the best father-son duos in sports:
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Danny and Angel Garcia are also known for the business prowess. The DSG brand has created the family an empire both in and outside of the ring for no other reason than their hard work, dedication and business acumen when taking on new ventures. However, Danny doesn’t like taking things too seriously—even at Angel’s expense.
A video posted by Danny Swift Garcia (@dannyswiftgarcia) on
What's better than this? A father and son getting it done in the ring.
Once-beaten super lightweight contender Ramirez looks to rebound from his first career loss, while former Dominican champion Mendez wants to prove he has another title run in him when they meet tomorrow night in the main event of PBC on FS1.
Super lightweight contender Eddie Ramirez, left, takes on former champion Argenis Mendez in the main event of PBC on FS1 tomorrow night in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Derick Hingles/Premier Boxing Champions)
Just like in literature, there are archetypes in boxing. One of the oldest boxing archetypes—the crossroads fight—will unfold when once-beaten contender Eddie Ramirez and veteran former world champion Argenis Mendez meet tomorrow night in a 10-round, 140-pound match at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi live on FS1 and FOX Deportes (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Besides being an intriguing clash of styles it shapes up as a true “must-win’’ for both boxers.
When the 25-year-old Ramirez (17-1, 11 KOs) was stopped in one round by veteran Mexican banger Antonio DeMarco last October on the undercard of a Leo Santa Cruz-Abner Mares double bill, the entire career of "El Escorpion" came to a screeching halt—at least temporarily. Four years of continued progress and rounding off of rough edges were left up in the air after Ramirez suffered his first professional loss.
But the Aurora, Illinois native is all-around tenacious and a return to the ring was never in question. His willingness to jump right at a potentially tricky comeback match-up against a former world champ speaks volumes.
“I probably should have clinched more against DeMarco," Ramirez acknowledged. "I’ve spent the past few months working on a lot of technical stuff in camp, like my defense. You’re going to see an improved fighter on May 26. Mendez is a good, game fighter. It’s not going to be easy, so I have to be on my game and 100% ready.”
As a fighter, there's nothing fancy about Ramirez. A blue-collar battler in the truest sense of the term, the 2013 Chicago Golden Gloves champ comes forward and has no hesitation in letting his fists go. His offense is highlighted by a focused and effective body attack that has been the most efficient part of his game since the beginning of his career.
Ramirez's aggressive mindset, however, also makes way for his greatest liability.
Defensive lapses in pursuit of offense make Ramirez vulnerable to counter-punches and his one-round blowout loss at the hands of DeMarco was hardly the first time the young fighter has been touched up by an opponent capitalizing on his technical flaws. Despite having done much in recent fights to tighten up his defense, the nature of who he is and what he likes to do in the ring will always guarantee defense as an afterthought in his overall approach.
Being matched against a sharpshooter like Argenis Mendez (24-5-1, 12 KOs) could present some challenging new life experiences for Ramirez.
The former super featherweight world titlist and 2004 Olympian is an unflappable veteran brimming with experience culled from a long, distinguished amateur career and a deep professional resume.
“ You’re going to see an improved fighter on May 26. Mendez is a good, game fighter. It’s not going to be easy, so I have to be on my game and 100% ready. ”140-pound contender Eddie Ramirez
Over the course of twelve years as a pro, the Dominican Republic native has been in the ring with high-end fighters such as Rances Barthelemy (twice), Martin Honorio (twice), Juan Carlos Salgado, Cassius Baloyi, Arash Usmanee, Miguel Vazquez, Robert Easter, Luke Campbell, and Ivan Redkach.
Mendez has fast, accurate hands and all-around solid fundamentals to back up his top-notch experience. The issue with the classy technician, however, has always been one of temperament and mindset.
The 31-year-old is calm, cool, and collected to a fault, losing rounds—and sometimes entire fights—with a negative style that allows his opponents to build leads on scorecards while he patiently waits for the perfect potshot opportunity. The inclination to give up entire chunks of a fight has turned the well-schooled Mendez into a gatekeeper figure at this point of his career, only occasionally showing flashes of the kind of proactive style he needs to be consistently successful.
In a high-profile bout, against an inexperienced opponent with a fairly simple style to decipher, the Dominican may feel emboldened to seize control of the fight, following up on the more-aggressive-than-normal showing in his recent victory over Redkach.
"I lost two fights and people started to wonder if I was done, but I'm a former world champion and came back strong to win my last fight," Mendez said.
"Eddie Ramirez is a good fighter, but when I show him my speed power, and skills, everyone is going to see what I'm still capable of. This is a great opportunity to show that I can beat this guy badly and get back to the world championship level."
Mendez can be overwhelmed by swarming aggression and that certainly seems to play into what Ramirez can do best in the ring.
This bout will be a true pick 'em—one where both sides have legitimate and realistic paths to victory.
If Ramirez brings with him the aggression and tightened-up fundamentals he was displaying pre-DeMarco, he should be able to put Mendez into passive mode and grab the biggest win of his career thus far.
But if Mendez can capitalize on Ramirez's technical flaws, creating comfortable pace and space in the ring while building a lead on the scorecards, he'll be on his way to scoring his second straight main stage victory in a career that seemed to be trending steeply downward.
On May 26, the world will see which fighter makes the most of the crossroads opportunity and which is left to pick up the pieces.
It was a slow burner of a fight Saturday night, but once things heated up between Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, there were no lulls.
At the end of twelve rounds of their Showtime-televised main event, two 114-114 scores from Italy's Guido Cavalleri and Buffalo's Eric Marlinski overruled a 115-113 of Plano, Texas’ Jesse Reyes’ score in favor of Jack—rendering the bout a majority draw. Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 knockouts) retains his WBC light heavyweight title with the result. Though neither guy officially got the win, neither fighter looked the loser after their performances.
Stevenson built an early lead by simply being busier than Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs). He did some great work to the body, and his game-changing power made it seem like Jack was hesitant to mix it up.
For Jack, it's a staggering fourth draw in 26 fights. The former two-division titleholder got off to a slow start against Stevenson, perhaps as a trap to setup his 40-year-old opponent for a quicker pace in the second half. It nearly worked, as Jack rocked Stevenson a number of times with big right hands down the stretch.
Jack was warned multiple times for straying south of the border with his body shots, and in the eighth referee Ian John Lewis called time and let Stevenson recover from a low blow. Stevenson was able to get away with holding on for dear life for much of the second half of the fight. Neither fighter lost a point.
The championship rounds were fought at a torrid pace, with Stevenson hurting Jack in the final minute of the 10th with a body shot. He tried going back to the body in the 11th but Jack was able to turn things around. The 12th round was dramatic and in the final seconds of the 12th, Stevenson seemed to barely hold on as blood came pouring out of his nose. At the end of it, both fighters had a strong case to be made they were the winner.
“I went to the body and saw that he was fatigued,” said Stevenson, who moves to 9-0-1 in world title fights. “I had to keep the pressure on him. He’s a slick fighter, a two-time world champion but I felt I won the fight.”
“ He’s a slick fighter, a two-time world champion but I felt I won the fight. ”WBC light heavyweight World Champ Adonis Stevenson
Jack felt similarly, and came to an odd conclusion on why he’s found himself at the end of so many draws.
“I thought I definitely won the fight,” added Jack. “No judge had him winning. I have no idea why I can’t get a decision. It could be that they’re jealous of Floyd and don’t like him. I’m one of his top fighters. I can’t do anything about it. I’m not the judge. I have to respect their decision."
When Gray pressed Jack about whether giving away the early rounds is what ended up costing him the fight, Jack sounded a bit incredulous.
“Gave away?” Jack asked. “He didn't really hit me either. Nothing happened. It is what it is, let’s get a rematch.”
The fight was a bit lackluster in the early goings but the second half of the fight definitely begs for there to be a rematch. Both guys seemed optimistic about the idea, with Jack hoping that the fight could take place in Las Vegas the second time around.
The fight also helped restore some credibility to Stevenson, who has been dogged for much of the last few years for failing to stay active and fighting mostly modest opposition when he did step into the ring. At 40 years old, it's pretty impressive to see him still fight at this level, and though he didn't get the win, he handled his six years younger opponent well.
Jack can also hold his held up high and should be in line for another title opportunity in his next fight whether it's against Stevenson or not. With Sergey Kovalev facing Eleider Alvarez in August, Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev remain the other beltholders and Jack would be either of those fighters’ biggests tests yet.
Stevenson vs Jack Highlights: May 19, 2018. (Showtime Sports)
Maryland native puts on a show for his hometown fans as he dominates previously unbeaten challenger at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Gary Russell Jr. vs Joseph Diaz Jr. Highlights: May 19, 2018. (Showtime Sports)
OXON HILL, MARYLAND — This was a little scary. Gary Russell Jr. would throw his metronome jab—and Joseph Diaz Jr. kept coming. Russell would counter with lightning-fast combinations, working up and down to the body and head—and Diaz kept coming. Russell would peck at the midsection with two, three, four blinding shots—and Diaz kept coming.
It was this accumulation of jabs, and body shots, and occasional right hooks that eventually spelled victory for Russell, who successfully retained the WBC featherweight title for the third time with a unanimous decision win over 25-year-old Joseph Diaz Jr., on a Showtime-televised card at his home away from home Saturday night, the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
“I hurt my right hand in the second or third round, so we had to make the adjustments,” said Russell, who improved to 29-1, with 17 KOs. “[Diaz] couldn’t get past my jab. When he got close, we made sure to smother him. Then we reset and got back on the stick. We train to survive those body shots. We put the work in every day in the ring. We consistently grind and push ourselves to be great. We push ourselves to the limit.
“I was disappointed in my performance, because I wasn't planning on going the distance. I hurt the right hand, but I still had to use it, because he could not get past my jab. The jab definitely dictated everything I did. My speed offset everything he tried to do coming forward.
“We want a unification. We want to unify this division, or we're moving up in weight for another title. I want another belt.”
Diaz (26-1, 14 KOs) was effective dropping down and slamming hard left body shots on Russell’s sides. His problem was not throwing them enough. Diaz’s main strategy was to wear down the 29-year-old Washington, D.C.-based fighter.
“The game plan was to break him down with the body shots and start attacking him more in the later rounds,” said Diaz, 25, who landed 192/491 (39%) total punches, 41/128 (32%) jabs and 151/363 (42%) power shots. “But I started attacking him too late. I didn't pick it up until the 8th or 9th round. Gary Russell Jr. is a tremendous fighter and he did a great job keeping me at bay. I needed to start in sixth round.
“He was throwing a lot of pitter patter jabs to keep me at bay. He was trying to keep me guessing and make sure I had to think about coming in. Overall it was a good learning experienced and I'll definitely be back.
“I had a feeling he would try to stand with him and give the fans a knockout. I didn't think he would move quite as much as he did.”
Diaz seemed to be the bigger fighter. His best rounds were the second, fifth, 11th and 12th. Russell landed a total of 199/992 (20%), 61/587 (10%) jabs and 138 / 405 (34%) power shots.
“He wasn't hurting me with any shots,” Diaz maintained about Russell. “He was just very fast. It was keeping me guessing. When he threw combinations, I wasn't able to set my shots. I was a little bit hesitant.
“This will just make me a hungrier fighter. I hope I got the respect of a lot of fight fans. I wanted to become champion against the best featherweight fighter in the world. Tonight wasn't my night but I'm going to bounce back harder and I'll be champion soon.”
“ We want a unification. We want to unify this division, or we're moving up in weight for another title. I want another belt.
”WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr.
Russell brothers also victorious
Gary Antuanne Russell, the former 2016 U.S. junior welterweight Olympian, hardly worked up a sweat in dispensing the overmatched Wilmer Rodriguez (9-3, 7 KOs). A southpaw, Antuanne Russell (5-0, 5 KOs) knocked down Rodriguez twice before referee Bill Clancy called it over at 1:54 of the first.
It was hardly a fight.
“It's my hometown and I expect my hometown to be behind me and support me,” Antuanne Russell said. “This was a great experience competing here at MGM National Harbor. It was electric. It wasn't my first time, but it always feels like home. It fills my heart up to be able to excite my hometown fans and give something back to all of them.
“I have no scars or bruises, it was quick and fast, so whatever my coach says, I'll follow his lead. I followed his instructions tonight and executed. As a fighter I have to have a strong mental foundation. I wasn't worried about how my opponent came into this fight, just that I was at my peak. With that focus, I was able to get the job done.”
Gary Antonio Russell was the first of the Russell brothers to fight. In a scheduled six-round bantamweight weight, Antonio started the Russell trio off well by scoring first and four-round knockdowns over Jonathan Lecona Ramos (17-20-4, 6 KOs), before Clancy stopped it at :16 of the fifth.
Antonio Russell’s first knockdown was the result of a right hook to the body. Southpaw Antonio Russell (11-0, 9 KOs) did well working up and down, landing short, impactful shots. He may have had a habit of being impatient and trying to head hunt too much, missing a number of shots in the second and third rounds.
But Antonio Russell, sensing he had the fight under control, then methodically plowed away again in the fourth, getting his second knockdown when Ramos collapsed under a barrage of punches. Ramos kept taking Antonio Russell’s shots, until Clancy had seen enough and waved it over at :16 of the fifth.
Aleem dominates in return to win column
On the undercard, super middleweight Immanuel Aleem (18-1-1, 11 KOs) dominated Juan Carlos De Angel (20-9-1, 18 KOs) from start to finish, knocking down the Colombian fighter near the end of the fourth and eventually stopping him in six. Aleem was patient, methodical and calculating. He went well to the body, especially in the opening minute of the fifth, bending De Angel in half with a right uppercut to the gut.
Each time De Angel tried mounting an attack, Aleem walked through it as if he were flicking away pebbles. By the sixth round, it appeared a matter of time before Aleem would press the action and stop De Angel, but the Colombian found a way to hang around.
He nailed Aleem with a right to the body, which caused the fighter from Long Island, New York, to be somewhat hesitant. The round didn’t buy De Angel any more time.
Clancy called a halt after the sixth when De Angel couldn’t answer the bell.
This week on PBC Jabs, 175-pound world champion Adonis "Superman" Stevenson checks in to discuss his game plan for his May 19th title defense against Badou Jack. SPOILER ALERT: He's going for the knockout.
WBC featherweight champion—who faces top challenger Joseph Diaz Jr. Saturday night on Showtime—makes sure younger brothers and amateur boxers at his Maryland-based gym have the financial support to train and travel.
Gary Russell Jr. vs Oscar Escandon Highlights: May 20, 2017. (Showtime Sports)
Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) knows something about the benefits of having supportive people in one’s life. Well before he became the WBC featherweight champion of the world, he was a young athlete working toward his ultimate goal of making it to the Olympic Games.
“My father and my mom were great support,” Russell said. “I watched my mother and father spend tons of dollars on trips, to drive to get me a little bit of experience in these smoker shows in different states. I’d overhear my parents talk about how they gotta come out of pocket with some more money to keep competing in these tournaments.”
Boxing has long been a family affair for the Russells. Gary Jr. has four brothers who also practice the sweet science and have since childhood. Their father, Gary Sr., had the insight to recognize the need for the sport, but also the potential heights the boys could reach.
“We were naturally aggressive children, and my father realized that very early,” Russell said. “And he decided, let’s target it into something that’s gonna be productive. We did it, and we loved it. We stuck with it.”
That support has taken Russell to the top of the featherweight division and garnered him a world championship.
“I take my hat off to JoJo Diaz because as a young, up-and-coming fighter, he wants to fight the best,” Russell said. “He’s made the statement himself that I am the best fighter in the division. All the other world champions in the division don’t want to compete against me. He’s willing to do that. So I have to respect him in that manner as an individual, as a fighter, as a friend, as a fellow warrior.’’
While Russell has been a world champion for over three years, that wasn’t always the direction he saw himself going.
“It’s funny, because I never really had a goal to become a world champion. My goal was always to become an Olympian. Me and my family would sit down and watch the Olympics. I remember it was just so cool to watch it. I was like, man, I want to be an Olympian.”
Russell achieved his goal, but it was bittersweet.
“I ended up being an Olympian in Beijing in 2008. I wasn’t able to compete because the air in Beijing was so polluted. Everybody was getting sick, vomiting and stuff. It was crazy because that happened to me and I didn’t get a chance to compete in the Olympics. I won my way all the way to the Olympic Games. I was one of the favorites to actually medal. And I got all the way to Beijing, got ill, and couldn’t even compete.”
Such a devastating blow may have caused some people to abandon their dream, but Gary Jr. showed what sets him apart. He persevered and set a new goal for himself.
“There were so many people who’d supported me,” Russell said. “I didn’t want them to feel their support was in vain. The only way to make it up to them was to become a world champion.”
The 29-year-old is a natural lefty, though he didn’t always fight in the southpaw stance. He started out orthodox, but felt more comfortable going lefty. The fact that he’s ambidextrous helped. His father relented and it worked out.
Russell has mastered his craft from all angles and all ranges. While some boxers are comfortable either at in close or long range, Russell prides himself on being able to perform at the distance that gives him an advantage.
“ I watched my mother, my father do everything in their power to make sure that I had the ability to compete in these tournaments, to get the experience. This is my way of somewhat paying it forward ”WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr.
He also takes a very philosophical approach to the sport.
“Boxing is intellect manifested in physical form. In most cases, the more intelligent person should win. It’s not just throwing punches. It’s not just hitting hard,’’ Russell said. “What happens when both fighters have equal amount of speed, punching power? Who wins the fight then? The more intelligent fighter. The one that can make the necessary adjustments.
“I was taught that two fighters that had a war, a knock down, drag out fight, are two stupid fighters. Those are two fighters that didn’t have the ability to make the adjustments to make the fight easier.”
Russell admires old school fighters like Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Louis because of their ring creativity and versatility.
He is sharing his knowledge and his philosophy by sponsoring a group of amateur boxers called “Team Russell.’’
“All the kids on my team are either number one or number two in their weight class right now,” Russell said. “Whenever they get ready for a tournament, I’ll pay for their hotel fees, their plane fees for them and their parents. Every year we’ll do like a camp and bring the kids down to my gym for about a week or so. We’ll do a week’s training camp. We’ll work on certain stuff.”
It’s the kind of support he picked up from his parents.
“I watched my mother, my father do everything in their power to make sure that I had the ability to compete in these tournaments, to get the experience. This is my way of somewhat paying it forward,” he said.
Looking to the future, Russell would like to get on the business side of the sport to further help boxers.
“I feel as though boxers have somewhat of a black eye as being ignorant or brutes,” he said. “I think that’s because fighters just aren’t educated on the concept of business. I want to use this as an opportunity. Any fighters I promote, I would want them to learn about the business aspect of the sport.”
Unbeaten cruiserweight contender Andrew Tabiti says he will put his full arsenal on display when he faces veteran Lateef Kayode tonight on PBC on Bounce from Las Vegas.
Unbeaten cruiserweight contender Andrew Tabiti (left) faces off with Lateef Kayode prior to their PBC on Bounce co-main event on May 11, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
Chicago-born Vegas transplant, Andrew Tabiti, just may be the last great American cruiserweight. Aiming to wedge himself into the upper level of a brutal division currently ruled by Eastern European tough guys, the 28-year-old is set apart from the bone-crushing division elite by a patient, disciplined style supported by a well-refined set of skills.
A product of the Mayweather Gym and trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr.'s old school lessons, Tabiti is a counter-puncher by nature, supported by a sharp jab coming from a nearly 80-inch reach and deceptive all-around quickness. He defaults to calm, cold professionalism when faced with tough tasks—as evidenced by his performances in high-water mark wins over Steve Cunningham and Keith Tapia.
With only 37 amateur fights, Tabiti has learned the vast majority of his lessons as a pro, developing as he moved along and showing himself to be a natural when it comes to assimilating an elite-level skill set.
"I'm excited to put on a good show and take care of a solid durable opponent,” Tabiti said. “I know that my time is coming and this another chance to show off my skills.
Some analysts would say that the cruiserweight contender is too patient and "professional" at this stage of his career, exceedingly cerebral and cautious in the face of what will be an increasingly aggressive set of high-end opposition as he moves towards world titles and legacy-defining battles.
The next stage of development for the emerging star will be to work on letting his hands go and making the fight-ending opportunities he currently waits to pounce on during fights. Already gifted with a strong and efficient counter right hand, Tabiti would do well to incorporate a big left in his arsenal and a more aggressive mindset.
Four years ago, Lateef Kayode would've been the ideal opponent to test the resolve of a thoughtful young tactician like Tabiti. Lacking in refined skills and nuance, the Nigerian-born, Vegas-residing Kayode was physically strong and aggressive and it made him a must-watch contender as he powered his way up the cruiserweight ranks. Dominant wins over Alfredo Escalera Jr., Matt Godfrey, and Felix Cora Jr. gave him a name. Then, a tightly contested draw with Antonio Tarver in 2012 (which was later changed to a no contest after Tarver tested positive for a banned substance) earned him elite status.
But then things went off the rails.
A three-fight run at heavyweight, culminating with a one-round TKO loss to Luis Ortiz (which was also changed to a no contest after Ortiz tested positive for a banned substance), seemed to throw Kayode well off his stride.
After the Ortiz match, Kayode had regressed in terms of technique and, more importantly, lacked the aggression that had defined his rise to the near-top just a couple of years earlier. A TKO loss to cruiserweight champ Denis Lebedev led to a 22-month layoff and then to a one-sided decision loss to Keith Tapia in September of 2017.
Coming into this bout with Tabiti, emerging from back-to-back high-profile losses, no one is quite sure what to expect. The Kayode of old could've pushed his younger foe like no one has before and could've forced a sink or swim war out of the cool-minded counter-puncher. The 35-year-old Kayode of recent form, however, brings little more than a name and an old-school toughness to the ring.
But, whether he's facing the best or the worst Kayode has to offer, Tabiti will have to work this coming Friday. It'll be a task he has yet to face against a fighter who can bring fire under the best of circumstances and stubborn tenacity under the worst.
The big question with Tabiti has always been whether he can take major league heat from someone adept at applying real pressure. And it's certainly within Kayode's ability to rattle a younger fighter not used to having outclassed opponents walk them down and/or walk through their best work.
If Kayode is intended to merely be a resume builder with a name, but shows up on fight night with even the slightest bit of spark, Tabiti could be in for the kind of tough night he needs to become battle-ready for the top cruiserweights.
However, if "The Beast" takes it for granted that he's there at Sam's Town to be fed the remains of a once-fearsome cruiserweight player while waiting on a big money title shot, he could be in for a terrible surprise.
This week on PBC Jabs, 154-pound contender Tony Harrison checks in to share his plans on becoming the first fighter to stop Ishe Smith on May 11, live on Bounce.
Plus, we preview the rest of our exciting May 11th Bounce card featuring a cruiserweight co-main battle between Andrew Tabiti and Lateef Kayode.