Danny Garcia Is Back On Track


It's a mismatch. Rod Salka is a calf for the slaughter. Danny Garcia is a cherry picker. The media said all that and much worse about Saturday night’s headlining fight between junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and unranked military man, Rod Salka. With commentary like that, it was always going to be difficult for Garcia to put on a show that would win over the critics and move past his disappointing performance against Mauricio Herrera. Fortunately for Garcia, he’s got one of the best left hooks in the business.

From the opening round, Garcia was testing out the combination that would end the night, a jab to the stomach followed up by a left hook to the chin. But it was Garcia’s less-often touted right hand that got the fireworks started. In the second round, Garcia landed a hard right cross that stunned Salka and seemed to make him lose sense of time and space. Salka smartly stepped backward and took a knee.

Garcia attacked, and Salka tried to hold. Soon enough another right hand landed and sent Salka back to one knee. The second time around, Salka didn't try to hold and bide his time. Instead, he stood up quickly and pounded his chest asking for more, as if trying to prove his manhood. Garcia reacted with a left hook that would have made Joe Frazier proud.


Garcia’s fist landed, and a millisecond later Salka's corner threw in the towel. As Salka flew backward to the canvass, the referee stepped forward to call off the fight. It was a spectacular knockout that will undoubtedly be added to Garcia's highlight reel. As Garcia put it, "I did what I was supposed to do." That he did.

The next name likely on his list is Lamont Peterson, who also fought on Saturday. Peterson's victory against 35-year-old Edgar Santana was uninspiring by comparison to the performance Garcia put on. Garcia agrees, saying the fight was "nothing to lose sleep over." Indeed, Peterson's tendency to switch from swift boxer to slugger when the pressure kicks in speaks poorly for his chances against Garcia. Nonetheless, since Peterson holds one of the belts at junior welterweight, the fight makes sense.

If that fight can't get made, or possibly once it's done, the timing might be right for Adrien Broner to step back up to the championship ranks — or attempt to at least. Broner fights on September 6, against junior welterweight Emmanuel Taylor. Assuming Broner comes out victorious, he will be hunting for a new belt in a fourth weight division. At junior welterweight, a Garcia vs. Broner match-up would be the biggest fight around. Given that both are managed by Al Haymon, there's at least a decent chance fight fans will get to see this match-up materialize. That is, unless the longtime rumors about Garcia fighting Floyd Mayweather finally come true.

Regardless of whether it's Broner, Peterson or Mayweather, just the fact that Garcia's name is being put along side any of these fighters is a sign that he's back on track.

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