- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia finished 2013 strong by dropping and outfighting slugger Lucas Matthysse in a September fight that many expected "The Machine" to win. But Garcia did what he has done before: win a fight that many didn't think he would.
Garcia, who outpointed Zab Judah in his other 2013 fight, is now ready to kick off 2014. He will begin with a 140-pound title defense on March 15, Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com on Monday.
There is no set opponent or site -- at least none Schaefer wanted to discuss -- but the date is locked in, he said. Schaefer also said Garcia would remain at junior welterweight, squashing speculation in some quarters that he would move up to welterweight, where he would be a prime candidate for a future fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. In fact, when Garcia defeated Matthysse, the fight was on the undercard of Mayweather's win against Canelo Alvarez, making it very obvious that the Garcia-Matthysse winner was auditioning for an eventual fight with Mayweather.
Garcia's camp, from what I was told by multiple sources involved in the decision-making process, removed its fighter's name from the sweepstakes to land the Mayweather fight, scheduled for May 3. His representatives simply didn't want the fight for Garcia yet. Therefore, Garcia will fight in March instead, with a Mayweather fight still possible down the road.
Schaefer and Showtime Sports boss Stephen Espinoza will be together on Tuesday in Los Angeles for the press conference to formally announce Alvarez's March 8 Showtime PPV fight with Alfredo Angulo. Schaefer said he will meet with Espinoza and that one of the items on the agenda is to discuss Garcia's next fight, which will air on Showtime.
Schaefer said there are other things on the agenda for the meeting as well, including:
• The likely Bernard Hopkins-Beibut Shumenov light heavyweight unification fight in the spring.
• Rescheduling the Jhonny Gonzalez-Abner Mares featherweight title fight (postponed because of Mares' rib injury).
• Middleweight titlist Peter Quillin's next fight, which could wind up on the Garcia undercard.
Junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia finished 2013 strong by dropping and outfighting slugger Lucas Matthysse in a September fight that many expected "The Machine" to win.