New Faces: Danny Garcia
Hometown: Philadelphia, Penn.
Weight class: junior welterweight
Height / reach: 5-foot-9/ 69 inches
Amateur record: 107-13
Turned pro: 2007
Pro record: 10-0, 7 knockouts
Trainer: Angel Garcia
Manager: Shelly Finkel
Promoter: Golden Boy Promotions
Best night of pro career: In his sixth pro fight, Garcia was scheduled to face a fighter with 16 pro fights on the Oscar De La Hoya-Steve Forbes undercard last May, but when that opponent fell out a day before the fight he ended up in the ring with a veteran of 42 pro bouts, Julio Gamboa (28-12-2, 17 knockouts). The former 115- and 118-pound title challenger was naturally smaller than Garcia, but his experience – and his southpaw stance – made up for what he lacked in size and strength. Garcia was not prepared to fight a southpaw, especially one as experienced and tough as Gamboa, but he made adjustments mid-way through the brisk six-round bout and was able to drop his rugged foe seconds before the final round ended.
Worst night of pro career: In his ninth pro bout, on the Ricky Hatton-Paul Malignaggi undercard last November, Garcia was frustrated by Adan Hernandez (14-5, 5 KOs) after absorbing a headbutt from the former lightweight prospect. Garcia clearly won the six-round bout but was tentative after the clash of heads, backing up and around his foe more than usual.
Next fight: Scheduled to face tough journeyman Cristian Favela (17-18-6, 10 KOs) Saturday on the Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz undercard in Houston. The 41-fight veteran is 2-2-2 in his last six bouts but the losses were competitive decisions to unbeaten fighters and one of his victories was against an 11-0 prospect.
Why he’ll be a contender: Extensive amateur career that includes the 2005 Under-19 national title and the 2006 U.S. championships title (in the 132-pound division) provides a foundation for his excellent hand-eye coordination, solid footwork, considerable physical strength and naturally heavy hands. Garcia is an aggressive boxer always looking to land accurate power punches, including debilitating body shots. Manager Shelly Finkel believes the young man has the character to deal with adversity in the ring.
Why he’s a pretender: Despite nickname “Swift”, he doesn’t possess tremendous speed and despite amateur background he often forgoes his jab and loads up with single power punches. Has a tendency to square up in front of his opponents, which will cost him when he faces rangier fighters with good technique and better hand speed.
Story lines: Garcia comes from a fighting family. His father Angel, who trains him, was an amateur boxer, as were his uncles and older brother. He began boxing competitively at age 10 and went on to compile more than 100 amateur victories before turning pro at age 19 after qualifying as an alternate for the U.S. team that competed at the 2008 Olympic Games. Finkel believes Garcia is the “total package” – skill, power, friendly personality, good looks, and character. All Garcia needs is experience, which he is getting on the undercards of some of the biggest Golden Boy Promotions events of the past 18 months – Mayweather-Hatton, Marquez-Pacquiao II, De La Hoya-Forbes, Marquez-Casamayor and De La Hoya-Pacquiao – so the young man is already well known by press row. Finkel plans to have Garcia fight six times this year, including televised bouts, with the goal of cracking the top 15 of the alphabet organizations’ ratings by the end of the year.
Nov. 17 Mike Denby KO 1
Dec. 8 Jesus Villareal TKO 2
Jan. 11 Mario Cortez KO 2
March 15 Charles Wade TKO 1
April 19 Guadalupe Diaz TKO 1
May 3 Julio Gamboa UD 6
Sept. 13 Tyrone Wiggins TKO 1
Oct. 18 Deon Nash TKO 3
Nov. 22 Adan Hernandez UD 6
Dec. 6 Jose Lugo UD 8