To be honest, Danny "Swift" Garcia's (28-0, 16 KO) bout against "Lightning" Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KO) is perhaps one of the least appealing fights you'll ever see featuring one of boxing's big names.
Salka is almost a complete unknown, and Garcia's title isn't even on the line.
Nevertheless, the 26-year-old WBA super light welterweight champion will take on Salka in the main event of a Showtime-broadcasted bout on Saturday.
The fight is taking place at 142 pounds instead of 140, which likely indicates Garcia's intentions to move up to welterweight where more lucrative fights are waiting for him.
That probably explains why a guy like Salka would be tabbed as his opponent. Big-name fighters aren't usually looking for major threats as they attempt to get acclimated to a higher weight class and have their sights set on big fish in said division.
That's why this one may only be for the hardcore fans. If that's you, here are the viewing information and vitals.
When: Saturday, Aug. 10 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn
Live Stream: Box Nation (subscription required)
The Book on Garcia
In Garcia's last fight, he didn't look like the same guy who befuddled the previously dominant Lucas Matthysse in the performance prior.
Mauricio Herrera used his guile and masterful boxing ability to give Garcia fits, but Swift managed to pull out the close and controversial majority decision.
Despite coming away with the official victory, Garcia's momentum hit a lull. He had been in the process of erasing the doubters who questioned his standing as one of the pound-for-pound bests.
When looking over Garcia's career, there is plenty to scrutinize.
The KO win over Amir Khan could be dismissed as lucky; he only beat Kendall Holt by split decision, and the two wins over Erik Morales came against an over-the-hill and fat version of the future Hall of Famer.
Garcia's gutsy win over Zab Judah was followed with his dominant victory over Matthysse. He'd gotten the boxing community's attention and was finally receiving validation.
The close call with Herrera didn't totally discredit him, but it has allowed doubt to creep back in when it comes to determining where Garcia ranks among the sport's best fighters.
Nothing he does against Salka can restore his momentum. A win is expected, and it wouldn't matter if it came via the most spectacular KO of the year. It's still just Salka, so no one will put that much stock in it.
If Garcia were to lose, that would change everything. The wins he has accumulated would all be forgotten, and he'd likely become one of the least respected world champions in the sport.
Garcia tweeted this mantra...
But does it really apply to this no-win situation?
The Book on Salka
Per Odds Shark, Garcia is a minus-5000 favorite to win on Saturday night. Odds don't get much longer than that.
So while Garcia doesn't stand to gain much from a win over Salka, the 31-year-old from Bunola, Pennsylvania, has everything to gain.
More than anything, Salka is fighting for respect. He knows the odds and that writers like myself are barely familiar with him. From the sound of things, the lack of notoriety and respect is serving as a motivator for him.
Per Tim Smith of the Showtime Boxing blog, Salka said:
As far as the experts go, it was a little bit of a surprise that they were acting like they didn’t know who I was. I had fought twice in a span of five months on TV. In saying I’m not deserving of a shot and all, this is nonsense. I’m not trying to say I’m the most deserving, but I am definitely deserving.
Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole believes the underdog role could make Salka dangerous:
If Garcia is going to win this, he's got to remember that he will be facing a guy who had the same kind of fuel and motivation as an underdog as he once did. Salka will most likely step up his game, and Garcia must be prepared for it.
In his last fight, he pulled off a unanimous-decision victory over Alexei Collado. But it was only the fifth fight of his career scheduled for 10 rounds.
Still, Salka doesn't appear to lack confidence. He told Iole he's "the best 140-pound fighter in the world."
Hey, if you don't believe in yourself, who will?
Garcia has a tendency to fight at the level of his competition, so this one might be a little more competitive than people think. Even with that, Swift will come out on top.
Salka's lack of power and less-than-nimble footwork will do him in.
Garcia is technically sound with a good chin and above-average power. Those qualities will be more than enough to get by Salka.
With an eye on impressing fans after a poor showing against Herrera, Garcia will stop Salka in the eighth round. Look for the counter left hook to be the best weapon in Swift's arsenal.
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