Danny Flexen ponders if his namesake Danny Garcia should get the next shot at unified champ Errol Spence
It was a tad uncomfortable. Danny Garcia was stealthily smuggled into the ring and, akin to some reality show ’big reveal’, announced to the crowd and Errol Spence, both apparently unsuspecting, as the Texan’s next opponent. Spence had just edged Shawn Porter to add the latter’s WBC belt to the IBF strap he has held for some time. He seemed completely unaware that a January 25 defence against Garcia had seemingly been confirmed, and initially talked of other options.
The key question then is, does Garcia deserve the fight? We argue both sides.
Garcia is a former two-weight world champion, a unified ruler at 140lbs and has beaten the likes of Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan and Brandon Rios. His only defeats, to fellow world-class operators in Keith Thurman and Porter, were each close affairs in which Garcia seemed to not do quite enough. He was far from outclassed and still retains a marketable name. In short, a decent scalp for Spence.
Spence fights for PBC on Fox, biggest rival Terence Crawford for Top Rank on ESPN. I’m not ready to rule out that mouthwatering showdown but if we want Spence back out in four months it’s not feasible the WBO king waits in the opposing corner. Thurman is taking a post-Manny Pacquiao break, while the team behind the Filipino Senator have already distanced themselves from Spence. In the timeframe, Garcia really could be the best of the rest.
Garcia has lost two of his last four, albeit on close contests against good company, but in the big ones these days seems to do just enough to be competitive while losing. The two wins in this period were over a shopworn Brandon Rios and an outgunned Adrian Granados. Danny is only 31 but competes a maximum of twice a year and will have been out for nine months by the time a Spence bout rolls around.
Bad style for Danny
Garcia is a patient type, performing best when given time and space to work, and against relatively static targets. Spence is, on paper, all wrong for him. A busy southpaw with good movement and an excellent jab, plus physical strength, Spence will likely be much bigger in the ring and it’s hard to envisage a way in which Garcia emerges victorious.