Despite having scored an emphatic knockout of Amir Khan to claim the WBC, WBA and Ring junior welterweight titles, it is somewhat easy to forget that Danny Garcia is a lineal champion.
While Garcia (24-0, 15 KO) has earned his way to the top of the 140-pound heap with a string of quality and exciting wins, one of the reasons for his relative anonymity is that he is still playing second fiddle to Khan.
It is certainly the case that some fighters capture the public imagination more than others, and Khan is indeed a polarizing figure due to his incredible skill set and suspect chin. As the debate about Khan’s legitimacy perpetually rages on, the former WBA/IBF champion has also made news for hiring Virgil Hunter as his new trainer, as well as for his war of words with domestic rival Kell Brook.
The fact remains, however, that Garcia is the division’s lineal champion, and while he might not generate as much public debate as Khan does, he still has an important rematch looming against Erik Morales at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Oct. 20.
If Garcia does not dominate boxing headlines yet, he’s certainly on his way to building a more mainstream profile. Since defeating former champion Kendall Holt three fights ago, Garcia has also triumphed over Morales (52-8, 36 KO) to first capture the WBC title, which was followed by his knockout of the heavily favored Khan.
Since that sensational fourth-round stoppage, Garcia’s name has been on the tip of many tongues. Whether one believes that Garcia landed a blind left hook while getting outclassed by Khan or that he absorbed Khan’s best shots and responded with true class of his own, what can’t be denied is that Garcia is a skilled fighter clearly on the rise.
Morales, on the other hand, is at a crossroads. Despite some brave performances against Marcos Maidana and Garcia, Morales has lost two of his past three fights, and at 36, his retirement seems imminent. Still, Morales can never be discounted, and there is evidence from his first fight with Garcia that the rematch will be compelling.
Many will groan and suggest that Garcia should be defending his titles against younger contenders. This will certainly happen in the near future for the 24-year-old Garcia, but for now, there are several reasons to be excited for Garcia-Morales II.