It has only been three years since the final destruction of Erik Morales materialized at the hands of Danny Garcia but it feels like an eternity.
Since then the former WBA and WBC light-welterweight champion has overcome the likes of Amir Khan and dangerous puncher, Lucas Matthysse to have become the main man of the 140lb division in many people’s eyes. This past Saturday night he made his debut at 147lb, hammering that final nail in the coffin of Paulie Malignaggi’s career after stopping him in nine rounds. How or why Malignaggi should have been involved in a duel with somebody of Garcia’s calibre after being bulldozed by Shawn Porter is anybody’s guess. The fact that the fight was on free to air television was one of its saving graces.
But one two year long question still needs to be answered. Just when will Danny Garcia face a solid, stimulating name opponent? 2013 was his last with Matthysse and since then he has fought Mauricio Herrera, who many thought he had lost to, Rod Salka, Lamont Peterson and recently Malignaggi. Peterson was the IBF champion at the time they opened wounds but its difficult to see why he deserved that opportunity after being down and out in three rounds against former Garcia opponent, Matthysse. Peterson’s style has hardly set the world alight, either. Garcia has proved that he can mix it with the elites. Afterall, he’s still unbeaten in 31 fights! Although he is only 27, its about time he started flavouring his career stats a little more. But after looking unimpressive against Herrera and so so against Peterson, will Al Haymon be a little worried to match him up with the big guns at 147lb? He shouldn’t be if he is brave enough to throw Adrien Broner in with Ruslan Provodnikov! But its not all his fault, as the politics of boxing can be pretty elusive.
Let’s see who he is most unlikely to fight, at least in the near future.
Manny Pacquiao for starters. He is still promoted by Bob Arum and Haymon has made some enemies as of late, especially with the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and the aforementioned. It is quite likely that Pacquiao will still target Floyd Mayweather for another fight, regardless of whether Floyd retires after his September clash with God knows who. Mayweather vs Garcia most likely will not happen, at least not this year given that Garcia has just fought. And it may never happen if Floyd sticks to his word! Kell Brook has a fair chance of fighting Danny, but right now Eddie Hearn is more interested in staging him against Amir Khan in an all British showdown. Nothing has been arranged in concrete about that fight at the time of writing. Timothy Bradley stated earlier in the year that his wife is now his manager and that is unlikely to change any time soon, especially with Bob Arum still in the picture. That is a shame because a Bradley vs Garcia fight would be a technically fascinating one.
So, that leaves open the possibility of having contests with Keith Thurman, Marcos Maidana, who should earn his shot to face somebody like Garcia, and Shawn Porter, who got a good distance win over Adrien Broner in June. Battles with Thurman and Porter would be good spectacles, admittedly so. We all know what Marcos Maidana’s default mindset and plan is when he is standing there having his name introduced to the attending audience.
Unless Haymon somehow snatches Bradley, Pacquiao and persuades Brook and Hearn to fight the ‘Swift’ one then Danny’s options are pretty limited for now. And the last thing he will want is for his career to gain question marks and be associated with verbal mythical match ups against fighters of his era once he walks away.