Danny "Swift" Garcia (27-0, 16 KO) returns to the ring to defend his WBA and WBC light welterweight championships. The pound-for-pound top-five fighter will face Mauricio "El Maestro" Herrera (20-3, 7 KO) in Puerto Rico on Saturday night.
Garcia was born and raised in Philadelphia, but he is of Puerto Rican descent. He'll almost certainly have overwhelming fan support against Herrera, who is Mexican-American.
In Garcia's last fight, he dominated Lucas Matthysse. This was perhaps the most impressive performance of Garcia's career. He showed toughness and some power to augment his excellent boxing skills.
On the strength of that performance, Garcia is on the cusp of a few major paydays. One of which could be a meeting with pound-for-pound king Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. Money is scheduled to fight Marcos Rene Maidana in May.
If both Garcia and Mayweather are successful in their upcoming bouts, look for talk about a potential fight to heat up. DJ Enuff of Vlad TV caught up with Garcia at the champion's gym. He talked to him about his upcoming bout, Mayweather and more.
This bout is the fifth defense of Garcia's WBC title and the fourth of the WBA crown.
Needless to say, Herrera has a huge opportunity and challenge ahead of him.
The fight is the main event of an exciting Showtime card that will also feature Daniel Ponce De Leon battling Juan Manuel Lopez. Two highly regarded American heavyweights will also do battle.
Deontay Wilder will be facing the biggest test of his career with Malik Scott. It should be a great night of fights. Here's how you can watch.
When: Saturday, March 15 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
The Book on Garcia
The qualities that make Garcia so good aren't as obvious as they are with Mayweather and other elite fighters. He isn't ultra fast, or an overly explosive puncher, but he's good enough on both fronts to be a legitimate world champion.
Swift's excellent timing, fundamentals and huge heart are his biggest advantages.
When Garcia first captured a world title against an over-the-hill Erik Morales in 2012, not many people would have suggested the 25-year-old could be an interesting opponent for Mayweather.
After knocking out Amir Khan and Morales in a rematch and outboxing Zab Judah and Matthysse, the talk is legit. As Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer says, per The Sweet Science's Michael Woods, the public is beginning to ask for the bout.
Schaefer said that he can foresee Mayweather-Danny Garcia in 2015, said more and more people ask about that bout.— Michael Woods (@Woodsy1069) March 5, 2014
Could Garcia really give Mayweather problems? That still remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: He has to take care of Herrera in Puerto Rico before he can chase Money—literally and figuratively.
The Book on Herrera
Herrera doesn't have much power, but he's tough as nails. He has never been stopped in his career, despite taking on the likes of Cleotis Pendarvis, Ruslan Provodnikov and Mike Alvarado.
Who wins Garcia-Herrera, and how?
Herrera defeated Provodnikov and Pendarvis but lost a unanimous decision to Alvarado. Many may not know him, but Herrera is a solid veteran who won't just lie down for Garcia.
He's two inches taller than Garcia at 5'10" and his reach is three inches longer. Using his length and jab will be a major key for him. He's very good at keeping distance and utilizing his reach. Guys like Karim Mayfield have used their quickness to get inside Herrera's reach.
Countering the jab is a must as Herrera will use it extensively. Can El Maestro keep the champion dancing to his tune?
Stylistically, this is an interesting fight. The factor that will decide the outcome is power. Garcia will not respect Herrera's punches. He'll be looking to counter Herrera's jab with his signature left hook.
It's the punch that sent Khan reeling and stopped Morales in the rematch. Herrera has a good chin and nice defense, but his style suggests Garcia will have opportunities to land that punch again.
Look for the champion to land the more punishing blows despite having some difficulty with the jab early on.
Herrera will be buzzed a few times in the fight, but Garcia will maintain his titles with a unanimous-decision win.
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