Will Mikey Garcia do better this time at welterweight? Can Danny Garcia fight at a high level again? Blake Chavez answers all questions
A all signs point to four division world titlist Mikey Garcia bumping heads with two division world titlist Danny Garcia on August 31st in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. Though neither holds a crown at present, this fight projects to be a barn-burner. I’m calling it right now: 2019’s Fight of the Year.
I know, a ton of fight fans are down on Mikey for what they see as his piss-poor performance versus King Kong, aka, Errol Spence. Despite Spence resembling a baby seahorse, he is the absolute best welterweight boxing has seen since the 80’s. Yeah, Floyd was at welter at the midpoint through twilight portion of his career, but though he won all his fights there, it was as a somewhat diminished Mayweather whose true heyday was as a 130-140 pounder.
Nobody seriously believes Floyd beats down a prime-time Sugar Ray Leonard or Thomas Hearns at welterweight. In point of fact, Spence kicked Floyd in the nutz when they sparred when Spence was just on the come-up. As Floyd fought virtually all-comers, he was cagey about when and at what weight he fought them. A past-his-prime Miguel Cotto and an ancient Sugar Shane Mosley are a couple of examples. A fight with a prime Cotto at 140 and a fight against a prime 135-pound Mosley were options Floyd never raced to embrace. He caught Canelo as a pup and went life-and-death with a shop-worn Oscar de la Hoya, albeit at 154 lbs. And the reason he chased Oscar was it was that fight and only that fight that could catapult him into becoming "Money" Mayweather.
So, the housekeeping being done, let’s talk turkey.
Mikey got the snot-whipped out of him by Spence. Period. But he whipped everyone’s azz at where it counts the most: The Bank. Mikey is the smartest fighter in the game. He jumped two divisions and challenged King Kong for a Godzilla-like payday. After a decade in the game and four division titles, he was on fire... undefeated and looking invincible. But his checkbook topped out at a couple of million dollars per fight. He was going backwards by taking a million bucks to spank Robert Easter. Much like Floyd, Mikey can count.
Mikey talked his way (backed by a HOF resume at the lighter weights) into a PPV bout staged at Cowboys Stadium (aka AT&T Stadium) and secured a minimum $8 million plus payday. The fight put almost 50k azzes in the seats and lured just under 400k PPV buys. When all was said and done, depending on his percentage of the upside, Mikey pocketed north of $10 million, and likely in sneezing distance of $15 million. Mikey took a lot of shots, blocked a helluva lot more, and went the distance with King Kong. A brilliant move, because he was looking at $1 million tops for his next fight, as Bob Arum sure-as-shnit was not, and still is not, about to risk Mikey destroying his Golden Goose, Lomachenko.
So Mikey took a calculated risk fighting Spence that was a no-lose proposition for Mikey-the-businessman. So what, he got a few lumps and bruises... at every level, particularly PPV, most everyone takes receipt of some damage. He went home, rested up, and spent some damned money. Lots of it. Mikey would take that fight again a million times out of a million times offered. That’s why he says with a sly smile that, "Maybe we’ll get a re-match somewhere down the road". The Brother got P.A.I.D.
Now he’s fitting to get P.A.I.D. again!
Mikey is once again training at SNAC, the Victor Conte entity that jumped-started his physique towards competing in the welterweight division. For the Spence fight, Mikey was short on time to execute his rise in weight for optimal performance. SNAC had just enough oooopmph to get Mikey to true 140-pound territory. The extra seven-pound leap to a full-fledged welterweight was, in point of fact, a bridge too far. But once Mikey found his way to the mega-bucks welterweight bank, he was never going to change banks until it stops paying him like a winning lotto ticket. Danny Garcia is that next lotto ticket. Mikey is likely pinching himself as he licks his chops due to the reality of him cashing another whopper-like check in the range of $7-$10 million smackers.
No sense risking a loss against lesser known competition for lesser monies.
How and why does Mikey stand to earn that much? It’s simple math; and the numbers do not lie.
For starters; it’s Mexican versus Puerto Rican. We are talking a century of pride and passion. Anybody remember Trinidad versus Vargas? Chavez Sr. versus Macho Camacho? Hell, how about the roiling, blood-pumping, hate-spiced Margarito versus Cotto? Don’t make me pull out the ace of spades: Salvador Sanchez versus Wilfredo Gomez! These fans smell blood in the water from a hundred miles away. They will pay the PPV money.
Mikey comes to the table as a proven PPV entertainer. Danny Garcia has never seen that stage, so Mikey rolls in as the A-side. Sheer numbers: a ton of Mexicans on both sides of the border (Mikey’s dad was born in Mexico and is very proud of his roots, and the fans know it) will be cheering for Mikey versus a much smaller number of Puerto Ricans backing Danny. Those two demographics compose the lions-share of who buys their PPV. The remaining contingent of fight money will come from races that have no dog in the fight, but they know a good fight when they see it coming and that’s for damned-sure.
What about Danny? How and why does he stand to earn just as much as Mikey? Danny has a helluva resume, make no mistake about it. Wins against Nate Campbell, in-their-prime fighters such as Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson , Paulie Malignaggi, with close decision losses against only Thurman and Porter. He’s a HOF guy, period.
Danny’s biggest bargaining chip is that he turned down $5 million dollars to fight Bud Crawford.
So his magic number doesn’t come cheap. Al Haymon loves him some Danny, and so that boy is getting paid. Another factor is it takes two to tango, and they match up well in attracting a varied and strong contingent of venue ticket buyers. The Staples Center will do potentially do a full house on this fight, so the cash registers will surely ring up a huge gate. African-American fight fans are amongst the most knowledgeable in the world, and the huge Los Angeles demographic of those rabid fans will most likely show up in droves. It should all add up to an electric night for a world championship caliber main event.
Also, Danny’s dad Angel talks a mountain of shznit and is a PR jackpot in the boxing world.
I’ve seen video of Mikey kinda joshing about how Danny Garcia swings really wide at times... with his eyes closed. I’ve seen Danny do that numerous times, most famously when knocking out Amir Khan. Mikey did note that it works for Danny. My view. Danny was a helluva 140-pound champ. Much respect.
But he’s 31 now... an old 31, if you ask me. Thurman and Porter are nowhere near being an Errol Spence, and he lost clearly to both. Swift. He goes by Swift, but he’s never been fast in anything. Average hand speed. Average foot speed. So where is the "swift"? At 31, it’s not coming back... if it ever was there.
Brandon Rios put purple gangster-knots all upside Danny’s noggin over nine, yes nine, rounds before getting knocked out like he should have been five rounds earlier. Brandon "The Mummy" Rios. Really? That is the night Danny became an "old’ fighter. Prime gone. He then got schooled pretty easily by Thurman, then tussled with a very technically flawed Shawn Porter. It was relatively close, until Porter stepped on the gas and made it obvious that Danny aint Danny anymore. Danny even made Porter look like a fair boxer, even though everyone knows he’s a wrestler, holding n grinding his way through fights. Some point to that relatively close decision as a rallying point that Danny’s still a vital part of the elite welterweights converging to the top of the division in a somewhat "Golden Age" of welters. That is just not true. He’s fading. Fast.
I note that in his last fight Danny did steamroll Adrian Granados (whose biggest claim to fame was a split-decision loss to the cartoonish Adrian Broner). Poor Granados shznit his pants in fear from the time he entered the ring until the time he got clubbed silly. Even Danny was surprised the guy never threw a punch. Danny and everyone else quickly noticed the stream running down Granados’s leg and so Garcia just started unloading his heavy bag routine on the pathetic guy. Boom Goodnight. But that’s how every heavy bag session is supposed to end. Right?
Since I do respect what Danny has accomplished, I’m expecting a free-balling nutz-on-the-table gunfight. Mikey will be Mikey, which is to say he’ll be careful for a round or two. By then he’ll have confirmed that Danny is no longer Danny and he’ll engage more than usual. Danny will respond in kind, believing Mikey is really just a little dude blown up. So there will be some cracking going on. The last thing to go on a fighter is his power. So Danny will unload the whole clip. Mikey will be trying to remove the Spence fight from the fans’ memories so he’s going to unleash everything he left in the holster unspent against Spence (which was a ton of ammo) and look to KO Danny.
The big difference in this fight is that Mikey’s physique will be much more in tune with that of a true welter. He’s at the age where a few extra pounds won’t slow him much due to his vast experience. I believe that with the full eight months of a focused diet and the SNAC training he’s had since signing the Spence fight, Mikey will look and perform look like a true, elite welter.
I see a real Pier One brawl. Mikey comes out victorious. He then immediately calls out Bud Crawford during the in-ring post fight interview. After all. That’s just smart business.
Blake "RaceHorse" Chavez responds to all of his emails: