By Derek Bonnett: Philadelphia’s Danny "Swift" Garcia, 14-0 (9), fights in front of a hometown crowd for the first time in his two year professional career on December 2 as the main preliminary bout for Bernard Hopkins’ light heavyweight tune-up fight against Enrique Ornelas.
During the first half of his career, Garcia did indeed make swift work of his opposition, but the stylish welterweight, 21, stepped up his level of opposition and continues to turn back the challenges of more experienced journeymen with an impressive balance of pressure, speed, and power. The right hand of this rising welterweight prospect has been particularly menacing to his foes; Enrique Colin, 29-5-3 (24), slated meet Garcia at the Liacourus Center, had better not forget to duck.
After stopping Deon Nash on the Hopkins-Pavlik undercard in October 2008, Garcia was extended the distance in his next four bouts, going eight rounds three times. Since June 2009, Garcia has re-established his knockout streak with back to back KOs.
"It feels great [to end a fight early]! Those four straight decisions helped me out a lot," Garcia explained. "I learned a lot from those fights. I think I can keep the streak going, but if doesn’t come I’m ready for ten rounds. I’ll a plan on fighting a smart ten rounds."
Garcia has not had to fight a full ten rounder to date. Colin has seen the tenth round seven times in his career, but overall has struggled and lost to his strongest opposition. Garcia, a strong welterweight should have the clear advantage over his opponent, who has primarily fought closer to lightweight.
Fighting in front of a hometown audience can be an exhilarating experience for a professional prizefighter, but it can also be a major distraction for a fighter who is not focused on the objective at hand. Many a prospect has tasted unexpected defeat at home.
"I’m with Golden Boy Promotions, that’s why most of my fights have been on the West Coast. It feels great to fight at home," Garcia stated. "I can’t wait to showcase my skills in front of my hometown. It doesn’t intimidate me [fighting under big names in the sport], it motivates me to stay focused and train hard so, one day, I can be the main event on a big card."
Garcia has been able to learn from some of the best in the sport on fight night. So, far he’s fought underneath Joan Guzman, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Joe Calzaghe, Oscar De La Hoya, and Hopkins. Unlike a lot of other practitioners, Garcia is also a fan of the sport.
"After my fights, I get dressed in the locker room and head back out to the fights," Garcia said. "[Inside the gym] I worked with Philly prospects like Gabriel Rosado and Raymond Serrano for this fight."
In regards to how he feels Hopkins will perform against Ornelas, a middleweight contender, Garcia was pretty clear. The welterweight star in the making also shared his thoughts about Pacquiao-Cotto and the upcoming Mosley-Berto bout.
"Bernard is too smart. He will win if he fights big," Garcia commented. "Manny is one of the greatest fighters, in my opinion. He fought a great fight. As for Mosley-Berto: Mosley by KO!"
Danny Garcia should prevail on December 2 and it would be much to the chagrin of boxing fans if GBP didn’t keep their young talent busy in 2010. Garcia and his team seem to be taking their time and wisely so. Not long are the days of Hopkins, Mosley, or Marquez. With De La Hoya in the role of full-time promoter, GBP will need to keep names like Garcia, Daniel Jacobs, and Matt Korobov busy and building toward main event status.
"Hopefully, this win will put me in the top fifteen," Garcia shared. "After that, we will take it one fight at a time until I’m world champion. Whoever my manager and Golden Boy put in front of me, I will train hard and be ready for."
November 24, 2009