Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press
One question haunts this fight: Why the heck is Danny Garcia fighting Rod Salka? The choice of opponent is a disappointment to Garcia's fans and a source of disgust to boxing fans in general.
At 26, Garcia has earned his status as a legitimate champion and rising star. In 2012, he burst onto the scene, winning the WBC light welterweight belt from Erik Morales in March of that year and knocking the legend out with a perfect left hook in an October rematch.
In between the fights with Morales, he unified the WBA belt by stopping Amir Khan via Round 4 TKO.
In 2013, Garcia beat Zab Judah and the red-hot Lucas Matthysse. But he struggled last April to escape with a majority decision over Mauricio Herrera in Puerto Rico.
The fight with Herrera was close enough that Herrera probably deserves a rematch. But if Garcia didn't want to fight him again, then Viktor Postol, the No. 1 contender to his WBC belt, would have been a great matchup.
Thomas Dulorme would have made sense as well. He's fresh off a win over Karim Mayfield, who beat Herrera far more decisively than Garcia did. Garcia vs. Adrien Broner would have been a major event.
But instead Garcia has decided to fight Salka, an unrated lightweight with a mere three knockouts. I rarely get the opportunity to congratulate the alphabet soup organizations, but the WBC and WBA deserve credit for refusing to sanction this as a title fight.
During earlier eras, champions sometimes fought six or more times a year. Back then, non-title fights with guys like Salka were completely credible.
But that was then, and this is now. Garcia holds two belts and the lineal title. He has a responsibility to face a certain quality of opponent.
No offense to Salka, who is hardly a bum. Two of his three career losses were by majority decision, and the other was an eight-round decision fairly early in his career. He has some skill.
But he's done nothing in his career to warrant this kind of high-profile opportunity. It's a true testament to the power Al Haymon wields that he could even get Showtime to sign off on Salka as an opponent.