Danny Garcia, the Philly fighter who shocked the rest of the boxing world, if not himself, when he dropped and stopped Amir Khan in July, will headline at the boxing debut of the Barclays Center.
OK, some of us thought that gig would more logically go to Paulie Malignaggi of Bensonhurst, but we try to stay humble, stay in our lane, know that we aren't promoters. So ... I asked the Philly fighter at a presser today at the Marriott near the new arena if it'd be strange at all headlining in NY?
Philly is his stomping ground, and we all know Philly sports fans and NY rooters don't always get along...
"If I was fighting a Brooklyn fighter, then it'd be Philly vs. New York," he said, laughing, "but I'm fighting a guy from Mexico and I'm a guy from the East Coast so I'm pretty sure they'll be supporting me."
He's talking about Erik Morales, the Mexican legend who met Garcia in March, and who came in over the weight and sort of sluggish, and dropped a UD12 to the kid. There was no clamor for a rematch, but Garcia said a rematch is warranted, because he thinks this time, Morales, age 35, will be more properly prepared. "This fight is going to be way better than that," said the 24 year-old, with the 24-0 record. "Morales is going to come more ready, more in shape, I'm going to come ready, more in shape. This fight is going to be a bigger war." He said that he wants to be part of a crew, including Malignaggi, that helps restore NY as a fight town, helps bring back the luster to the East Coast as a fight mecca. "I took the peoples' fans, I took the UK fans, I'll take the Mexican fans, and I'll make people pay attention to New York and Philly," he said.
Garcia had Morales down in round 11, but some thought the scores should have been closer than they were. (Yes, the fight took place in Texas, and happily, the NY judges have a solid rep for getting it right.)
Me, I see Garcia being a significantly better boxer following the Khan rubout, and believe he will get the better of Morales in a more decisive fashion.