Saturday, October 20, 2012
Danny Garcia decides to fight
By Dan Rafael
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- When unified junior welterweight titlist Danny Garcia went to bed Friday night, he did so having made the decision not go through with his rematch against Erik Morales on Saturday night because of Morales' failed drug tests, two members of his team told ESPN.com.
But after sleeping on it -- and knowing that he would not earn a career-high $1 million purse -- Garcia decided he would fight, one of the sources told ESPN.com on Saturday morning.
"He thought about. He thought about very hard and he decided he wasn't going to fight. It was done. He slept on it. He changed his mind. He's fighting. Fighting is what he does," the source said.
Garcia, his father and trainer Angel Garcia -- who ripped Morales and his father/trainer, Jose Morales, from the podium at Thursday's final news conference over the positive tests -- and others in Garcia's inner circle met at length late Friday night at a meeting in the fighter's hotel room, where Garcia made the decision that he would not fight.
He changed his mind Saturday. It was Garcia's option not to fight after Morales failed two random U.S. Anti-Doping Agency tests in recent weeks, testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, which is often used to assist in weight loss.
For their first fight in March, Morales, 36, of Mexico, could not make weight and was stripped of the title. Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs), 24, of Philadelphia, outpointed Morales (52-8, 36 KOs) the next night to win the vacant 140-pound belt.
The tests that came back dirty -- the "A" samples and "B" samples -- were conducted at Morales' training camp in Mexico, one on Oct. 4 and one on Oct. 10, according to a source with knowledge of the testing schedule.
Morales told people at Golden Boy, his promoter, that the reason for the positive test was because he ate tainted meat, a Golden Boy staffer told ESPN.com. There was a high-profile case recently where many members of the Mexican national soccer team tested positive for clenbuterol after eating tainted meat.
A third test conducted on Morales on Wednesday in New York came back negative, the Golden Boy source told ESPN.com.
The New York State Athletic Commission does not conduct prefight drug screens and had no jurisdiction over the USADA testing, which was a private agreement between the Garcia and Morales. Garcia had requested the random blood and urine testing protocol.
Both fighters made weight on Friday. Garcia weighed 139.8 pounds for his second title defense and Morales was 139.2.
The fight headlines the first boxing card -- one that features four world title fights (Showtime, 8 p.m. ET) -- at the new $1 billion Barclays Center, which opened last month.