Danny Garcia has accomplished a lot in the last six years, including knocking off eight former world champions and earning titles in two weight classes. One thing he hasn’t done? Fight in his beloved hometown of Philadelphia. That’s about to change.
Returning to the ring for the first time since late January, Danny “Swift” Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) will rumble with Colombian Samuel Vargas (25-2-1, 13 KOs) on November 12 at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia (Spike, 9 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT).
The scheduled 10-round, non-title fight will be Garcia’s last before a blockbuster title-unification showdown in early 2017 against fellow 147-pound champion Keith Thurman at a site to be determined.
Leading into the Garcia-Vargas main event will be a pair of intriguing 10-round undercard matchups. Unbeaten 147-pound prospect Jarrett Hurd (18-0, 12 KOs) of Accokeek, Maryland, will battle Romania-born and Montreal-based Jo Jo Dan (35-3, 18 KOs), while former world champion and Dominican Republic native Javier Fortuna (30-1-1, 22 KOs) will take on undefeated Omar Douglas (17-0, 12 KOs) of Wilmington, Delaware, in a 10-round clash.
Garcia has been idle since January 23, when he earned a tough unanimous decision over former world champion Robert Guerrero in Los Angeles. With the victory, Garcia claimed the 147-pound crown that was vacated by Floyd Mayweather Jr., making the 28-year-old Philly native a two-time titleholder, having previously been a champion at 140 pounds.
The battle with Vargas will be Garcia’s fourth professional bout in his hometown, but his first since October 8, 2010, when he scored a fourth-round knockout of Mike Amaoutis.
“My dad [and trainer, Angel Garcia] and I wanted to get one more fight in before the end of the year, and there was no doubt in my mind it had to be in Philadelphia,” Garcia said. “My team got it done, and it’s a great feeling to fight at home over the holidays.
“I’m gearing up for a big fight with Keith Thurman next year that’s going to be a can’t-miss event. First, I’m going to fight for my city on November 12.”
In addition to showcasing his boxing skills for his hometown fans, Garcia is partnering with Philabundance—the region’s largest hunger-relief organization—by launching a food drive as part of the promotion for the fight with Vargas. Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods to the Liacouras Center and other area locations to receive discounts on tickets.
Also, $10 from each ticket sold will be donated to Philabundance, which provides food for about 90,000 people weekly in the greater Philly area.
“I’m excited to use this opportunity to give back to the community,” Garcia said. “This city means everything to me. I hope everyone comes out and shows up with cans of food, too.”
In Vargas, Garcia will be facing an accomplished veteran who won his first seven fights and was 15-0-1 before falling to Pablo Munguia by unanimous decision in December 2013. He rebounded with five straight wins, then ran into rapidly rising 147-pound contender Errol Spence Jr. last April, losing by fourth-round TKO.
The 27-year-old Vargas, who was born in Colombia but resides in Toronto, has since embarked on another five-fight winning streak, most recently cruising to a 10-round unanimous decision over Juan Armando Garcia on May 14 in New Brunswick, Canada.
Vargas, who at 5-foot-9 is a half-inch taller than Danny Garcia, has fought between 146 and 154 pounds during his 6½-year pro career. This will be just this third professional bout in the United States.
“Things happen when you work hard, and I’m so excited about this opportunity,” Vargas said. “Garcia is a great fighter, and he cleaned out the 140-pound division and now he is champion at 147. A win would change my life and everyone around me.
"This is my time. I can’t fail. This is going to be a Rocky story in Rocky's town.”
For full coverage of Garcia vs Vargas, check out our fight page.