Three fighters who fought on the first boxing card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on October 20, 2012, will be competing there again Saturday night. And each one of them hopes it goes as well as it did the first time around.
Danny Garcia will never forget the maniacal crowd of more than 11,000 that saw him destroy Mexican legend Erik Morales, whom he dropped and stopped with a head-swiveling left hook in the fourth round in defense of his 140-pound title.
“That was electrifying,” Garcia said of the second of his five title defenses. “When I fight at Barclays, it’s showtime.”
That same night, Brooklyn native Daniel Jacobs stopped Josh Luteran in 73 seconds, scoring the first of his three knockout victories at the arena.
“That was the most incredibly special night of my life," Jacobs said. "I wouldn’t have wanted to do it in Las Vegas or anywhere else but my home stadium.”
Brooklyn native Paulie Malignaggi recalls "the festive atmosphere" that night and his disputed split decision over Pablo Cesar Cano, whose failure to make weight meant Malignaggi’s 147-pound title was not on the line.
Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) weighed 146.6 while Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) came in at 146.8.
Garcia has competed at Barclays more than any other boxer except Marcus Browne, going 4-0 with two KOs there, including a majority decision over Lamont Peterson in April.
“I’ve had some great showcases here,” Garcia said. “Paulie’s from Brooklyn, but this is Danny’s house.”
Although Maligngaggi’s 2-1 mark at Barclays includes a one-sided decision over Zab Judah in his last fight there in December 2013, he’s trying to rebound from a fourth-round stoppage loss to Shawn Porter in April.
“My career started 14 years ago in Brooklyn,” said Malignaggi, who gained a first-round TKO of Thadeus Parker at KeySpan Park in July 2001. “People think it's going to end Saturday in Brooklyn, but I'm not letting that happen.
“My burning desire comes from people writing me off before my time, but I don’t want other people writing my obituary. It’s not my time yet, and I’ll prove that Saturday night.”
Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs) weighed 159.8 Friday, while Mora (28-3-2, 9 KOs) hit the scale at 159.2 for their title fight, which kicks off the ESPN broadcast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Since being knocked out in the fifth round by Dmitry Pirog in July 2010, Jacobs has stopped nine consecutive opponents, most recently a 12th-round TKO of Caleb Truax in April.
“[Mora will] probably try to make it a stinker,” Jacobs said. “He might be defensive and not engage as much as the fans or I would like. It may be up to me to dictate the action, apply the pressure and to eventually try to get him out of there.”
Mora, a former world champion at 154 pounds, is coming off a split-decision victory over Abraham Han in February and has won five straight fights since losing a decision to Brian Vera in August 2012.
“I’m in [Jacobs’] hometown, so I’ve got to start off quicker and get his respect," Mora said. "I promise you, I will hurt him, shake him up and back him up. If I don’t hurt him, I can’t win."