A look back at the five greatest wins in the accomplished career of former two-division world champion Danny Garcia ahead of his bout versus Adrian Granados Saturday night on FOX.
If Danny Garcia is a “cherry-picker,” one can only dream of other fighters being so choosy.
Garcia’s ledger reads like a who’s who of modern-day boxers between 140 and 147 pounds. The former two-division world champion isn’t just one of the most accomplished fighters in the sport, he’s also fought more top boxers than nearly all his peers.
This Saturday, April 20, Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) returns to the ring versus the dangerous Adrian Granados in a 12-round welterweight battle at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The bout will serve as the main event on PBC on FOX (8:00p.m. ET/5:00p.m. PT).
Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) is on a mission to upset Garcia. Garcia knows what it’s like to shock the boxing world—and to do it again. Here are five of his most memorable ring moments.
5 ASHLEY THEOPHANE
Date: February 26, 2010
Location: Don Haskins Center, El Paso
At stake: No title
Records at the time: Garcia 15-0, Theophane 25-3-1
Result: Garcia SD 10
Significance: Garcia was a 15-0 prospect when he took on 29-fight veteran Theophane. It was the first major test for the 21-year-old Philadelphia native and although he passed, it wasn’t easy. Theophane got off to a fast start against the notoriously slow-starting Garcia, using his movement and potshots to keep “Swift” second-guessing. By the fourth, Garcia was loosened up and landing to the body with both hands. Some of Garcia’s inexperience showed as nearly every punch he threw packed power. But one such shot, an overhand right off a jab, rocked Theophane in the seventh.
England’s Theophane returned the favor one round later, catching Garcia’s attention with a right of his own. Garcia finished strong to eke out a split decision victory in his first 10-rounder.
4 ERIK MORALES
Date: March 24, 2012
Location: Reliant Arena, Houston
At stake: Vacant WBC World Super Lightweight Title
Records at the time: Garcia 22-0, Morales 52-7
Result: Garcia UD 12
Significance: It was youth versus experience. A dean of the Mexican school of boxing versus the Puerto Rican upstart from the boxing hotbed of Philly. Morales showed that he was still formidable when he barely lost a majority decision to Marcos Maidana one year earlier. Garcia, on the other hand, was eager to establish himself as one of the world’s best fighting for his first world title.
Morales was stripped of that belt one day earlier when he came in at 142-pounds, two pounds over the super lightweight limit. It didn’t matter. Garcia overcame a stiff challenge from the crafty Garcia, utilizing his speed, counterpunching and varied attack to bust Morales up. The old man had his moments, bloodying and bruising Garcia, but any shot at a victory dissipated when he was dropped in the eleventh. Garcia won a unanimous decision by scores of 118-109, 117-110 and 116-112. They would meet again in October 2012. This time, Garcia stopped Morales in four with his signature left hook.
3 ROBERT GUERRERO
Date: January 23, 2016
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles
At stake: Vacant WBC World Welterweight Title
Records at the time: Garcia 31-0, Guerrero 33-3-1
Result: Garcia UD 12
Significance: Two hungry fighters battling for a world title usually means an action-packed fight. And that’s what the Staples crowd of 12,052 witnessed on this night. Garcia had conquered the 140-pound division. He sought to do the same at welterweight, fighting for a vacant world title against a Guerrero in search of redemption after falling short against Floyd Mayweather in May 2013 and Keith Thurman in March 2015.
Guerrero was busier in the early frames, throwing combinations out of his southpaw stance from seemingly every angle. Once the patient Garcia began letting his hands go, the fight was good as over. Garcia dominated, landing hard counters and combinations. It was an impressive display against a fighter who brought everything he had left in his tank to the ring. Guerrero stayed upright, but he paid the price for it. All three judges scored it 116-112 for Garcia.
2 LUCAS MATTHYSSE
Date: September 14, 2013
Location: MGM Grand, Las Vegas
At stake: Garcia’s WBA and WBC World Super Lightweight Titles
Records at the time: Garcia 26-0, Matthysse 34-2
Result: Garcia UD 12
Significance: Garcia may have been the unified champion, but Matthysse was the fan and media darling. The Argentine slugger was also the betting favorite, infuriating Danny and his father/trainer, Angel. But the sentiment made sense. Matthysse was riding high off a third-round TKO over Lamont Peterson, overshadowing Garcia’s uneven decision win over a faded Zab Judah.
The fight was the co-feature to the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Saul "Canelo" Alvarez super-bout. Many in at the MGM Grand came for Matthysse’s coronation. What they witnessed instead was a master class from Garcia. “Swift” showed every element of the classic Philadelphia fighter. His always-sturdy chin—and underrated defense—allowed him to survive Matthysse’s early assault. He then outboxed Matthysse round by round, using his jab, footwork and counterpunching to dismantle his opponent. By the championship rounds, the tiring Matthysse could only see out of one eye. Garcia put the finishing touches on his brilliant performance, dropping “La Maquina” in the eleventh en route to a clear points win.
1 AMIR KHAN
Date: July 14, 2012
Location: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
At stake: Garcia’s WBC and Khan’s WBA World Super Lightweight Titles
Records at the time: Garcia 23-0, Khan 26-2
Result: Garcia TKO 4
Significance: Khan was a huge favorite to defeat Garcia as he marched toward a dream match versus Mayweather. The former British Olympic silver medalist had destroyed Zab Judah in five only a year earlier and was coming off a controversial split decision defeat to the formidable Lamont Peterson. Not to mention prior wins over Marcos Maidana and Paulie Malignaggi, among others.
Khan stood his ground and punished Garcia in the first two rounds with his hand speed and power, opening a small cut over his left eye. But Garcia is as intelligent as he is skilled. He began the third by working Khan’s body, slowly bringing his guard down and setting him up for what was to come. With seconds remaining in the round, Garcia countered a Khan combination with his trademark left hook to the head. Khan crashed to the canvas, rising on wobbly legs. He was saved by a bell that rang moments later. In the fourth, Garcia battering a still-woozy Khan, dropping him two more times. It was enough to convince referee Kenny Bayless to halt the bout and give Garcia what many considered the Upset of the Year.