A look back at the two-division champ's biggest and best moments at the famed Brooklyn venue as he prepares to face Jose Benavidez Jr. in that same arena Saturday, July 30 on PBC on SHOWTIME.
If Danny “Swift” Garcia were to retire today, he would’ve already enjoyed a successful Hall Of Fame-caliber career. However, Garcia is not content with what he has accomplished. On Saturday, July 30th, the two-division world champion makes his 154-pound debut against Jose Benavidez Jr. in a Premier Boxing Champions event on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Garcia has been trained by his father, former amateur boxer Angel Garcia, since he was 10. An aggressive boxer-puncher, Garcia is one of the most popular boxers in the sport, possessing one of boxing’s most lethal left hooks.
A list of Garcia’s accomplishments reads like a who’s who of the top welterweights and junior welterweights in this era. Now, after winning championships at 140 and 147, he’s leveling up to 154 to expand his legacy with the goal of becoming a three-division world champion.
“It’s not about size. It’s about skills, heart, and determination, and how bad you want it. I believe in myself, and that’s all it takes,” Garcia said. “You could be the biggest guy in the world, but if I’m smart and I believe in myself more and I want it more, I can take it from you. That’s all it’s about, believe in yourself.”
Although Garcia was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Barclays Center is like a second home for him. As he prepares for his ninth ring appearance at Barclays on July 30th, here is a look back at his five greatest performances there.
5 KEITH THURMAN
Date: March 4, 2017
At stake: Thurman’s WBA Welterweight Championship and Garcia’s WBC Welterweight Championship
Records at the time: Garcia 33-0 (19 KOs), Thurman 27-0 (22 KOs)
Result: Thurman SD 12 (112-116, 115-113, 113-115)
Significance: Some might wonder how a loss ends up on this list but the significance of this bout isn’t solely about the final result. A crowd of 16,533 packed Barclays Center for this welterweight unification, then a record for the venue. Plus, average viewership on the CBS telecast was 3.74 million and peaked at 5.1 million, the second highest peak for boxing on broadcast television since 1998. Even though Thurman earned a split decision victory, a lot of solid punches were exchanged by both of these champions. Garcia had many moments, landing a higher percentage of his total punches (30% to 26% for Thurman). Thurman controlled the early rounds with his power and jabs, which gave him the momentum heading into the middle rounds. Garcia’s poise and technique allowed him to work his way back in the fight. Several of his counter hooks to Thurman’s midsection were effective, including a brutal one late in the 10th round. Overall, the 12-round fight was a close one, and the judges had Thurman edging it over Garcia.
4 Paulie Malignavi
Date: Aug 1, 2015
At stake: No title
Records at the time: Garcia 30-0 (17 KOs), Malignaggi 33-6 (7 KOs)
Result: Garcia TKO 9 (2:22)
Significance: After dominating the 140-pound division, Garcia sought to conquer new land, moving up to the welterweight class. Against Malignaggi, it was evident his power had gone up with him. Malignaggi was cut above his right eye in the third round which became an issue by the sixth, adding to what was already looking like a problematic night for him. Garcia executed his gameplan by punishing Malignaggi the majority of the fight and outworking him with explosive shots. In the ninth, referee Arthur Mercante Jr. rescued the stumbling and hurt Malignaggi, giving Garcia the victory.
3 ROD SALKA
Date: Aug 9, 2014
At stake: No title
Records at the time: Garcia 28-0 (17 KOs), Salka 19-3 (2 KOs)
Result: Garcia KO 2 (2:31)
Significance: This was a candidate for KO of the Year. As soon as the first bell rang, Garcia was already in his element, looking to end the fight as early as possible. In round two, he did just that, dropping Salka twice by bullying him with a series of hooks and body shots. Salka had no chance of recovering, struggling to rise after the first knockdown. When he did, he wasn’t upright for long as a right hook on Salka’s wide open chin sent him crashing to the canvas. No count was needed.
2 ZAB JUDAH
Date: Apr 27, 2013
At stake: Garcia’s WBA Super Lightweight and WBC Light Welterweight titles
Records at the time: Garcia 25-0 (17 KOs), Judah 42-7 (29 KOs)
Result: Garcia UD 12 (116-111, 114-112, 115-112)
Significance: From a lot of talking leading up to their clash to a lot more talking with their fists in the ring, this fight had a little bit of everything. Garcia built an early lead behind his jabs and counterpunches. During an exchange in the eighth round, Judah was introduced to the mat courtesy of a straight right hand. The proud Brooklyn native wouldn’t go quietly, rising from the knockdown to have some of his best moments. Garcia weathered the storm to win a unanimous decision.
1 ERIK MORALES II
Date: Oct 20, 2012
At stake: Garcia’s WBA, WBC, and the Ring Magazine Super Lightweight Championship
Records at the time: Garcia 24-0 (15 KOs), Morales 52-8 (36 KOs)
Result: Garcia KO 4 (1:23)
Significance: In March 2012, Garcia captured the vacant WBC Super Lightweight title with a unanimous decision win over boxing legend Erik Morales. It was a terrific battle as the cagey veteran gave Garcia fits until the latter came on strong down the stretch. The two would meet again in this rematch, with a more confident Garcia dominating the action. In round four, Garcia uncorked his famous left hook, causing Morales to do a near 360 before he hit the floor. The win signaled Garcia’s arrival on boxing’s big stage, a platform he returns to on July 30.
For a closer look at Danny Garcia, check out his fighter page.