Former two-division world champion's TKO of Brandon Rios could set Danny Garcia up for a possible rematch with unified 147-pound champ Keith Thurman, a potential showdown with former titleholder Shawn Porter, or a future match against any number of other top fighters in one of boxing's most loaded divisions.
Danny Garcia reinvigorated his career with a single, counter right hand to the jaw of Brandon Rios on Saturday night. Now every top fighter in the stacked 147-pound division wants a piece of the former two-division world champion.
The self-proclaimed “Danny Garcia Show” culminated with a ninth-round knockout of former lightweight world champion Rios with Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter sitting ringside at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Events Center in Las Vegas.
Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) suffered the first loss of his career and his welterweight title to Thurman in a unification match last March. His match against Rios was the first since that setback. After the fight Porter jumped into the ring to challenge Garcia to a showdown.
“I took the loss like a true champion and I bounced back like a true champion. I would love the rematch with Keith Thurman,” said Garcia. “It’s on [Thurman.] Whenever he’s ready we’ll fight. If it’s the Thurman fight again, great, but if not, I’ll fight somebody else. I don’t care whether it’s Errol Spence, or if it’s Porter, or anybody else.“
Thurman is slated to return on May 19 at Barclays against an undetermined opponent, having suffered an injury to his right elbow during training for Garcia. After successful surgery to remove painful calcium deposits and bone spurs from his elbow in April, he has been in rehabilitation and has just returned to serious training for his next match.
“We’re going to be looking at Shawn Porter for possibly later this year or possibly Danny,’’ said Thurman. “People want to see the new guy that hasn’t been beaten in Errol Spence, so there’s a lot of good choices in the welterweight division.”
Others expressing interest in Garcia were left-handed former 147-pound champions Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander, who battled to a split-draw earlier on Saturday in El Paso, Texas.
“We would love Danny Garcia,” said Kevin Cunningham, Alexander’s trainer. “From a promotional standpoint, I think Danny Garcia would be a great fight.”
For a complete recap of Garcia vs Rios, visit our fight page