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Danny Garcia is the lineal light welterweight champion and also owns the WBC and WBA belts. Lamont Peterson still holds the IBF title, but he was destroyed in three rounds by Lucas Matthysse last May in a non-title fight, and Garcia beat Matthysse by convincing unanimous decision last September.
So Peterson is a champion in name only at this point. Provodnikov owns the WBO belt at 140 pounds after a brutal stoppage of Mike Alvarado last October. In an ideal world, he would be the guy Garcia fought.
But Provodnikov is promoted by Top Rank while Garcia is with Golden Boy, and unfortunately, the two most powerful promotional groups in the sport refuse to work together and make the major fights that matter.
So Garcia will fight Herrera instead. Herrera is not a bum and actually has a win over Provodnikov on his resume, from January 2011. But the 33-year-old Herrera lost his last two fights at the world-class level, in 2012, to Mayfield and Alvarado.
Herrera beat a couple of journeymen in 2013, Ji-Hoon Kim and Miguel Huerta, while fighting close to home in California. This is a major opportunity for him that I expect he will be well-prepared for.
But Herrera has been in some brutal fights and has a lot of wear and tear on his body.