Five keys for Danny Garcia
Plotting a path to victory in Saturday's welterweight bout against Rod Salka
One fight removed from a tougher-than-expected showcase bout against Mauricio Herrera, junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia makes his return to the ring on Saturday.
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs), who outlasted Herrera by controversial majority decision, headlines a tripleheader at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET) in a 10-round non-title bout against unheralded Rod Salka.
Salka (19-3, 3 KOs), who is moving up in weight from 135 pounds, enters as a heavy underdog against Garcia, as the majority of the fight promotion was dominated by those questioning whether Salka was deserving of the opportunity.
Here are five keys Garcia should consider entering Saturday's bout:
Show him the money
|Garcia's money punch -- his counter left hook -- is as signature and devastating a single punch as any in the sport. It was his weapon of choice in consecutive 2012 knockout wins over Amir Khan and Erik Morales. Garcia shouldn't hesitate to create opportunities to set his feet and time it perfectly, just as Salka, who has just three knockouts in 22 pro fights, comes forward. If Garcia lines him up perfectly, Salka's night could very well end with one punch.|
Seek and destroy
|Considering all the negative media attention surrounding this fight, all the pressure falls on Garcia as the heavy favorite. In his own words, he's in a "no-win" situation entering what amounts to, essentially, his second straight showcase fight. The only real victory for Garcia would come in a dominant performance. In order to do that, he'll need to eschew any ideas of being a full-time counterpuncher and focus on walking Salka down, being the bigger man and finishing him.
Patrol the border
|Garcia's inconsistent use of the jab in his last fight against Herrera allowed his opponent multiple opportunities to barge right through the front door and land shots from multiple angles. By using a constant variety of kamikaze attacks throughout, Herrera never allowed Garcia to set his feet and feel comfortable. to avoid a repeat this time, Garcia will need to be consistent with his jab in order to control Salka and set up his power shots. Getting off the jab first will be key in this regard.
Loop the right hand
|One of Garcia's favorite punches to surprise his opponents with is the looping right hand he throws while bending at the waist and sliding to his left. Considering Salka's tendency to keep his left hand low after jabbing, Garcia might find himself the perfect opening to facilitate his opponent's exit.|
Act the part
|Despite a glossy unbeaten record and signature victories over some of the top names at 140 pounds in recent years, Garcia doesn't always get the critical respect he deserves. Some of that centers on his tendency at times to play up or down to the level of his opponents. It's a trait that helped him rise to the occasion two fights ago against Lucas Matthysse, but it has also left him looking much more human in other bouts, including the late rounds against Zab Judah. Despite being the heavy favorite on Saturday, Garcia needs to convince himself that he's entering the toughest fight of his career to date.
- Brian Campbell retweeted