Former RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia (R) smashes Paul Malignaggi with a straight right hand at Barclays Center in August 2015. Garcia will return to action against Robert Guerrero in Januar 2016 on the Fox network. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.
“Styles make fights”: What an overused cliche. It might, in fact, be the most moth-worn of all the fight game cliches.
But promoter Tom Brown, with apologies, trots it out to tell us why the Jan. 23, 2016 scrap between former RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero will be a fan-friendly rumble.
So, you’re thinking this Premier Boxing Champions scrap, the first boxing program to run on the FOX network in almost 20 years, will be an all-action tangle?
“I do,” said Brown, who worked for decades with Dan Goossen, the charismatic fight game lifer who died a little over a year ago.
But of course, this being a free nation, fans are free to exercise the right to free speech and negative thoughts they have on this pairing. Many on Twitter aren’t waving pom-poms when they got word of this tangle and would like to see the 31-0 (18 knockouts) Garcia fight someone else. It was rumored that Al Haymon was contemplating matching him against Amir Khan.
Brown thinks those naysayers will, in fact, enjoy the fare on Jan. 23. “How could you not?”
And for those thinking the Guerrero (33-3-1 with 18 KOs), 33 in March, is too faded – he’s dropped two of his last four – that wars have taken too tough of a toll…
“You saw how he charged back after being dropped by Keith Thurman,” answered Brown, who is married to the youngest Goossen (of 10 children). “And then he came back too quick, I think, against Aron Martinez (in June). After a fight like the Thurman one (in March), the body needs time to rest and repair. Is he rested and ready for Garcia? I think so. I’ve known Robert a long, long time. He was with us early in his career, then for the first world title…and you saw him come back after his first defeat (2005, to Gamaliel Diaz) and win world titles. He’s an old-school warrior. He’s a special kid. It’s a classic, old-school matchup. It’s cliched; styles make fights…but I see it as a can’t-miss. Danny has that same warrior gene in him that Robert does.”
For the record, FOX ran boxing proper back in 1998; it was Oscar vs. the Oscars, as Oscar De La Hoya oversaw a three-bout slate, topped by Yory Boy Campas-Anthony Stephens, on a Top Rank Promotions arrangement, which went up against the Academy Awards. Mike Tyson had been on FOX, fighting Buster Mathis, three years before. And then, of course, the network had some success with its “Celebrity Boxing” venture. In May 2002, the Joey Buttafuoco vs. WWE’s Chyna – she was a late sub for John Wayne Bobbitt – match drew comparisons to the first Micky Ward-Arturo Gatti bout…OK…no, it didn’t…but I have no doubt this construct will be re-birthed on some platform soon.
Michael Woods keeps hinting about facing that Donald Trump guy in a “celebrity”-type boxing event. Problem is, Trump keeps moaning about being too busy with doing something or the other for America or whatnot. Sounds like a lot of gibberish from where we’re standing.