RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia, IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson and middleweight standout Danny Jacobs all have a chance to lose despite facing extreme underdogs when they return to action on Aug. 9, Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De la Hoya told media members during a Wednesday press conference at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Garcia (28-0, 16 knockouts) is coming off a disputed majority decision victory over Mauricio Herrera on March 15 and will defend his RING, WBA and WBC championships against Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs).
Peterson will defend his IBF 140-pound title against Edgar Santana and Jacobs will be matched against Jarrod Fletcher.
"Rod Salka, Edgar Santana and Jarrod Fletcher, each of these fighters will have the chance to showcase their heart and desire and to prove the doubters wrong. All we need to do is look at recent Golden Boy boxing history," said De la Hoya.
"We know that some of the best fights of the past year starred underdogs in the fight of their lives. In boxing, you are dealing with the theater of the unexpected. At Golden Boy, we are focused on giving the fans exciting match-ups that wont disappoint."
Garcia's appearance at Barclays will be his third in five fights, having earned a fourth-round knockout of Erik Morales in October 2012 and a unanimous decision over Zab Judah in April 2013. Prior to facing Herrera in Puerto Rico, Garcia unanimously decisioned Lucas Matthysse, dropping him in the 11th round last September.
"Come August 9, it's going to be another great performance by me. I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove. I've got to show the world why I'm the unified super lightweight champion of the world. I'm already training hard in the gym every day and running the hills," said Garcia.
"If the fight was next week, I'd be ready. I can't wait until August 9. It's going to be my night. Danny Garcia has a lot to prove. I have to go in there and show him that I'm the best fighter in the world. It’s going to be a classy performance but ugly for my opponent."
Salka, a 31-year-old Pittsburgh native, is coming off an impresive upset of former Cuban amatuer standout Alexei Collado in April.
"In this country, thank God, if you’re willing to work hard and bust your butt, then the opportunities will present themselves. Opportunities always look a lot like hard work in my opinion," said Salka.
"So I plan on busting my ass, working hard in the gym. I’m living there now and I'm going back there tonight. We’re going to give Danny Garcia all that he can handle on August 9."
Peterson is 5-1-1 with three stoppage victories since falling by unanimous decision to two-division titleholder Tim Bradley as a 140-pounder in December 2009.
In May of 2013, Peterson, 30, was knocked out for the first time in his career by Matthysse, being dropped him three times during a third round stoppage loss in a non-title bout. Peterson bounced back to defend his belt by unanimous decision against Dierry Jean in January.
"I just want to say that I'm happy to be fighting in New York. It’s my first time fighting here, so I'm excited. I'm training hard and we're going to put on a good fight. I'm expecting for [Santana] to have a big crowd since this is his hometown," said Peterson.
"But I'm pretty sure D.C. is going to show up and show out that night. I’m just looking forward to the fight and you all should expect a good one. I know he will come in prepared. I know Edgar Santana can fight. He can hold his ground against anyone."
Santana, 35, is a New York City-based Puerto Rican boxer who has won his last three fights, all by stoppage since falling by unanimous decision to Manuel Perez in February 2012. He was last in action for a first-round knockout of Michael Clark in November.
"If you follow my career, you know I’ve had some fallbacks. I've been chewed up, swallowed and spit back out by the streets," said Santana, "but I’m here. They say that I’m an underdog but I'm definitely not training like an underdog. I'm training like I’m a champion."
Jacobs, 27, will be after his eighth consecutive stoppage in as many straight victories since being stopped by Dmitry Pirog in July 2010. Jacobs was last in action for a first round knockout of Milton Nunez, whom he dropped three times in March.
"Finally, the 'Miracle Man' has come back to Barclays Center," said Jacobs, a Brooklyn native who is 2-0 with as many knockouts at Barclays. "It feels great to be back in my hometown where I was born and raised and to have an opportunity to fight for a world championship here."
Fletcher, 30, has won six consecutive fights, three by stoppage, since his sole loss by second round knockout to Billy Joe Saunders in September 2012. He is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Max Bursak in February.
Video by Bill Emes
Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos