PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                         March 23, 2012


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Danny Garcia has been an heir apparent to Philly boxing royalty ever since he turned professional, and was signed by Golden Boy Promotions right off the bat. He cemented those expec-tations in his Philly-debut in December 2009 when he stole the show from Bernard Hopkins at the Liacouras Center with a resounding second round knockout of a very experienced Enrique Colin. Ever since that night, we all stopped wondering IF Danny would win a world title and started wondering WHEN he'd do it.

He gets his chance on HBO Saturday night in a 12-round fight against all-time great Erik Morales for the WBC Jr. Welterweight Championship. Unlike Bryant Jennings, the other Philly boxer in a big fight this weekend who only has a good chance to win, Garcia is expected to pass his formidable test with flying colors.

Nothing is certain in the ring - especially when you are in with a great fighter like Morales - but most of us will be surprised if Garcia does not come home with that green belt wrapped around his waist. So the pressure is on the 24 year old fighter from the Harrowgate Boxing Club.

Garcia, 22-0 with 14 KOs, faces a 52-7 (36 KO) Morales, in the main event at the Reliant Arena in Houston, TX. Garcia has impressed by beating two former world champions in his past two fights (W12 Kendall Holt & W10 Nate Campbell), but Morales' record is packed with the names of numerous champions like arch rival Marco Antonio Barrera, Daniel Zaragoza, Junior Jones, Wayne McCullough, Kevin Kelly, Paulie Ayala, Carlos Hernandez, and Manny Pacquiao. He is also a sure-bet future Hall of Famer whenever he retires for good.

How will Garcia fare against such an accomplished champ? The truth is, at 35, Erik Morales is a few years and couple of weight classes past his prime. Although still a serious threat to any fighter with a chin that he can aim for, Morales is the one who may be in a little deep for this fight.

"People asked why I would take an opponent that could be very dangerous," Morales said at the final pre-fight press conference. "I say, why would I pick a fight against someone I can't beat?" 

Morales got old in his second fight with Manny Pacquiao six years ago. Since then he has defeated the decent fighters he's faced and lost to the good ones. Since beating Manny in their first fight, Morales has gone just 4-5, and had three years of semi-retirement (2007-2010).

Garcia still has a lot to prove as a fighter, but I think it all starts with a victory over Morales on Saturday. This feels like the right fight at the right time for him. I expect Danny to win a unanimous decision and bring the title back to Philly.

"This is a new era in boxing," Garcia said at the press conference. "Get ready to see a new WBC champion come Saturday night." 

We are ready, Danny. Bring it home.

Garcia Tweeted this photo of the trunks he will wear against Morales




John DiSanto - News & Notes - March 23, 2012

Photos by Rachel McCarson of the Boxing Tribune