Danny Garcia/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions
Now that Danny Garcia has dispatched Samuel Vargas – not that there was any real chance he wouldn’t – his welterweight title-unification bout with Keith “One Time” Thurman can take place March 4 as planned. (A site is still to be determined).
The trash-talk has already started. Thurman was part of the Spike broadcast team for Garcia’s seventh-round stoppage of Vargas this past Saturday at Liacouras Center in Garcia’s native Philadelphia. Afterward, the two spoke inside the ring and had a few choice words for one another.
“I just had to tell Keith that he’s next,” Garcia said. “I’m going to beat him down. There’s not much more to say. Keith is going to get what he asked for and now he’s going to face a big dog.”
Said Thurman: “You have two big punchers meeting on March 4. I don’t see how the fight can go 12 rounds. I see myself as the best competition that Danny has ever faced.”
Garcia, 28, is 33-0 with 19 knockouts. Thurman, 27, is from Clearwater, Fla. He is 27-0 with 22 knockouts.
This should be a terrific fight.
Danny Garcia, left, lands a short left hook to the jaw of Robert Guerrero in January at Staples Center. Garcia won a vacant welterweight title with a unanimous decision/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill
Welterweight world champion Danny Garcia on Saturday will take on Samuel Vargas (25-2-1, 13 KOs) of Colombia in a non-title fight at Liacouras Center in Garcia’s native Philadelphia (on Spike).
Assuming Garcia wins – and he will – he will next take on Keith “One Time” Thurman in a highly anticipated title-unification bout March 4 at a site still to be determined.
The best thing about Saturday’s bout is that Thurman will be part of the broadcast team. Garcia was asked about that Wednesday.
“He (Thurman) will just get an up close and personal look at what will happen to him in March,” Garcia said. “I hope he’s paying attention.”
Never one to be left out of trash talk, Angel Garcia – Danny’s father and trainer – echoed that sentiment.
“Thurman may be on the outside looking in on Saturday, but he’s going to see what he has in store for him in March,” he said.
Jessie Vargas works with trainer Dewey Cooper/Photo by Gene Blevins
Jessie Vargas is a welterweight world champion, but he’s not exactly a household name even though he’s from Las Vegas, the fight capital of the world. If he beats Manny Pacquiao on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, that will change.
“It would definitely put me on the worldwide stage, make me that boxing star that I have been looking forward to being,” Vargas said. “I have been waiting for this for a long time and I’m glad it’s here and I am going to take advantage of it.
“The only fighters to beat Manny Pacquiao have become legends themselves. So I plan to become one of the few to beat Manny Pacquiao and also become one of the legends.”
Bob Arum, whose Top Rank Inc. is producing the ($59.95) pay-per-view feed for the card, promotes both fighters. He agrees Vargas could alter how he is viewed by the boxing world.
“He becomes not just a champion, but a superstar,” Arum said. “I will deny to him that I said that because I will have to negotiate his next fight (laughing). He would be a superstar, there is no question about that, if he were to beat Manny Pacquiao. He has a hell of a shot to do that.”
Pacqujiao, 37, is 58-6-2 with 38 knockouts. Vargas, 27, is 27-1 with 10 knockouts.
Taras Shelestyuk, left, and Jaime Herrera square off after Thursday’s weigh-in/Photo by Carlos Baeza, Thompson Boxing
“Sugar” Shane Mosley may be 45, but the future Hall of Famer showed in May he’s still a decent fighter when he went the distance with David Avanesyan before losing a unanimous decision. It’s therefore not surprising to hear Mosley has been sparring with welterweight contender Taras Shelestyuk ahead of Shelestyuk’s fight Friday night against Jaime Herrera at Omega Products International in Corona (on Showtime).
Mosley likes what he sees from Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs), who recently moved to Los Angeles from his native Ukraine.
“He’s on that championship path, that level,” Mosley said.
Shelestyuk, who won a bronze medal for Ukraine in the 2012 London Games, is soaking up all Mosley has to offer.
“Sparring with Shane Mosley has been huge for me,” Shelestyuk said. “He’s such a great fighter. When I was younger, I’d watch his fights. Now we spar. He’s older but still very good. He knows all the tricks and gives me a lot of advice that helps me in and out of the ring. Everything he’s said to me, I’ve tried to apply.”
Herrera, of Franklin Park, Ill., is 15-3-1 with eight knockouts.
Manny Pacquiao poses with Sylvester Stallone on Saturday at Wild Card gym in Hollywood/Photo courtesy of Miguel Salazar
Manny Pacquiao received a visit from a rather famous fictional fighter on Saturday at Wild Card gym in Hollywood. It was none other than Sylvester Stallone of “Rocky” fame.
The two posed for pictures after Pacquiao finished sparring in preparation for his challenge to welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view).
Pacquaio (58-6-2, 38 KOs) is hopeful he and Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) can put on a heck of a show.
“My first concern is for the fans; that the people who are going to watch the fight will be happy and satisfied,” Pacquiao said. “I want this to be a fight for fans to remember.”