A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
‘Swift’ Garcia returns in March
Unified WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) returns to the ring on Saturday, March 15, to make his fifth defense of the 140-pound title. No opponent has been named yet, but Garcia is one of boxing’s fastest rising stars and he is clearly making a name of himself by winning in style.
A lot of people weren’t sold on Garcia as a fighter, but the more people have the chance to watch him work, the more he is respected as a fighter. The young 25 year-old from Philadelphia, PA, of Puerto Rican decent, isn’t your typical Philly Fighter.
In addition to being a tough kid, Garcia is developing into a technician inside the boxing ring. Garcia is systematically breaking down his opponents with good boxing skills before punishing them with power. Garcia can take a good, solid punch. His mettle has been tested, as the quality of his opposition continues to strengthen over the course of his well-deserved championship reign.
In March 2012, Garcia defeated future Hall of Fame Mexican fighter Erik Morales (W 12) in to claim the WBC junior welterweight title. However, Garcia didn’t earn world-renown respect until he stood-up to the blistering hand-speed and power of Amir Khan. Garcia absorbed everything Khan had on display before rocking an aggressive Khan with a powerful hook that nearly took his head off in the third round.
Garcia proceeded to punish Khan around the ring until the fight was stopped in the fourth round.
In October 2012, Garcia, in boxing’s first ever event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, decimated Morales with a famous left hook in the second round.
Garcia returned to the BarclaysCenter in April 2013 to defeat former undisputed world welterweight champion Zab Judah. The bout proved to be perhaps the toughest fight of Garcia’s career, as Judah’s southpaw style, power, and resistance matched Garcia’s skills, pressure, and withstood Garcia’s knockout power.
If that wasn’t enough, Garcia, in one of the biggest boxing events in history, silenced his critics once again, by battering hard-hitting Argentine Lucas Matthyssee through twelve rounds in the co-featured attraction to “THE ONE: Mayweather vs. Canelo” SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View show last September.
With Floyd Mayweather looking for a dance-partner for a May 3, fight at the MGM Grand, Garcia appeared to be the most logical and most-deserving option. However, Khan, whom Garcia defeated in clean fashion, appears to be the lead candidate and perhaps the only choice since Adrien Broner opted to exercise his rematch clause with newly crowned WBA welterweight champion Marcos Rene Maidana in April.
Mayweather, who also has a September 2014 date at the MGM Grand available, could fight Garcia then, but Maidana might get the green light should be convincingly punish Broner once again.
‘Canelo’ returns in March to face Angulo
Former undefeated, unified WBC/WBA super welterweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) returns to the ring for the first time since losing a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather in one of the biggest boxing events in history last September to face Alfredo Angulo (22-3, 18 KOs) on March 8, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV on March 8th.
Alvarez, like Garcia, is one of boxing’s fastest growing stars. At age 23, the young Mexican is powerful, aggressive, and boxes well. Alvarez provided Mayweather one of his more interesting challenges in recent years last September. Canelo’s fight with Floyd broke pay-per-view records and cemented SHOWTIME Championship Boxing as the premier network for the Sweet Science.
Alvarez’ growing resume consists of quality victories against world champions Austin Trout, Sugar Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron.
Alvarez will be challenged by the straight-forward, slugging style of Angulo. Similar to fellow Mexican Antonio Margarito, Angulo applies a lot pressure and his fights are often brutal. Perhaps the relentlessness of Angulo’s style is slowing him down a bit, as he has been stopped twice in his last four fights.
Golden Boy announced prior to the start of 2014, Canelo will fight three times on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View this year. Should Alvarez defeat Angulo, he may possibly fight Miguel Cotto later this year. Cotto passed up a $10 million offer to fight Canelo for a chance to become the first Puerto Rican fighter in history to win four world titles in four separate weight-classes by challenging Sergio Martinez for the WBC middleweight championship in June.
Bryant Jennings inches closer to title shot
The goal of every fighter is to win a world title and makes lots of money in boxing. However, very few people will ever realize the ultimate dream of being called heavyweight champion of the world.
Perhaps Bryant Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs) will have that chance should he emerge victorious against fellow undefeated Arthur Szpilka (16-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday, January 25, at the Theater in Madison Square Garden. No American since Shannon Briggs back in 2007, has won a piece of the world heavyweight championship. Jennings could move closer toward a title fight with a victory.
The heavyweight division has been dominated by both Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, as the won the IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO, WBC, and Ring Magazine titles. Vitali recently was awarded WBC ‘Emeritus’ champion status, as he will concentrate on becoming the President of Ukraine.
Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne will collide for the vacant WBC title soon, but the ultimate prize is to defeat Klitschko. Jennings may finally be on track to fighting Wladimir later this year and why not? Jennings’ burst onto the scene has caused a stir in the heavyweight division. Right when it appears that Klitschko ran out of opponents, Jennings and his undefeated record captured attention when defeated Maurice Byarm in the main event of a NBC Fight Night card in his native Philadelphia, PA two years sgo.
Jennings’ success continued with victories against former WBO heavyweight champion, Sergui Liakhovich, Chris Koval, and Andrey Fedosov to name a few. Jennings, a product of Kathy Duva’s Main Events Boxing, has been featured on NBC Fight Night, and continues to build his profile.
We will see on Saturday whether Jennings is truly a world championship caliber fighter.