Danny Garcia, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman ready to unify welterweight division

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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.

 

 

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Danny Garcia says he’ll show Keith Thurman what he has in store for him

 

Danny Garcia, left, throws a punch at Robert Guerrero during their WBC championship welterweight bout, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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.

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Leo Santa Cruz will get opportunity to avenge his loss to Carl Frampton

Leo Santa Cruz

Leo Santa Cruz/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights is going to get a chance to avenge the only loss of his career when he takes on Carl Frampton in a featherweight world title fight Jan. 28 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was one of several fights announced Tuesday that will be televised by Showtime.

Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) lost his championship belt to Frampton when Frampton beat him via majority decision July 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Frampton (23-0, 14), of Northern Ireland, won by scores of 114-114, 116-112 and 117-111.

Also on this card, Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs) of Oxnard will challenge Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs) of Montenegro for his lightweight world title.

Among the other fights announced was the March 4 welterweight title-unification bout between Keith “One Time” Thurman and Danny Garcia. There is not yet a venue for this one, and it apparently is contingent upon Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) beating Samuel Vargas in a Nov. 12 tuneup bout in Garcia’s native Philadelphia.

Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla., is 27-0 with 22 knockouts.

Also, Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens will challenge Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) of Argentina for his featherweight world title Dec. 10 at USC’s Galen Center.

 

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Danny Garcia looking forward to food drive, fight with Samuel Vargas in Philly

Danny Garcia, left, throws a punch at Robert Guerrero during their WBC championship welterweight bout, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Danny Garcia, left, lands a left hook to the jaw of Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero in January at Staples Center/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill

 

Danny Garcia of :Philadelphia won the vacant welterweight world title with a unanimous decision over Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero on Jan. 23 in Los Angeles. But Garcia won’t make his first defense until next year.

In the meantime, Garcia will take on Samuel Vargas (25-2-1, 13 KOs) of Colombia in a non-title bout Nov. 12 from Liacouras Center in Philiadelphia (on Spike). It is expected to act as a tune-up for a title-unification bout with Keith “One Time” Thurman in 2017. The fight will also be part of a charity drive Garcia is fueling.

Garcia is teaming up with Philabundance – the region’s largest hunger relief organization – on a regional food drive. Fans are being encouraged to drop off canned goods at the fight venue as well as a local boxing gym. Also, $10 from each ticket sold will be donated and provide 20 meals per ticket for the needy.

Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) is stoked about the package.

“My dad (trainer Angel Garcia) and I wanted to get one more fight in before the end of the year and there was no doubt in my mind it had to be in Philadelphia,” said Garcia, who has also been a champion at junior welterweight. “My team got it done and it’s a great feeling to fight at home over the holidays. I’m excited to use this opportunity to give back to the community and put on a show. This city means everything to me. I hope everyone comes out, but shows up with cans of food, too.

“I’m gearing up for a big fight with Keith Thurman next year that’s going to be a can’t-miss event.”

 

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Robert Guerrero back in ring against David Peralta in August – then what?

Robert Guerrero

Robert Guerrero/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Former world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero has lost three of his past five bouts. But they were to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Keith “One Time” Thurman and most recently Danny Garcia. No shame there.

Guerrero, 33, will get back in the ring for the first time since what was a good – yet unsuccessful – showing against Garcia for a vacant welterweight world title in January at Staples Center. He’ll headline an Aug. 27 card at Honda Center when he takes on David Peralta of Argentina in the welterweight main event (on Spike).

American fans know little of Peralta (25-2-1, 14 KOs), who has fought exclusively in Argentina. Guerrero seems to know something about him, though.

“My opponent is a tough fighter from Argentina,” said Guerrero, of Gilroy. “Everybody knows that fighters from Argentina always come to fight, so I must be prepared and I’m expecting a war.”

From here on, it will be interesting to see what Guerrero does in his career. He would seem to be a way off from another title shot, as he is ranked in the top 15 of just one of the four organizations. And it’s a No. 13 ranking, so no one is going to owe him anything soon.

Considering his showing against Garcia, Guerrero – just 33 – certainly isn’t ready to hang ’em up. But it doesn’t seem he would have enough to beat any of the champions in the division, though he would appear to have the best shot against Jessie Vargas. The other three are Thurman, Garcia and Kell Brook, who is moving up to middleweight to challenge Gennady Golovkin for his title in September in England.

Here’s a thought: Guerrero could move down to junior welterweight. He never really did fight there, as he went from lightweight straight to welterweight; Guerrero had one fight technically in the junior welterweight division when he weighed 138 for Joel Casamayor, but he only weighed 133 and 134 his next two fights before moving to welterweight. (Lightweight is 135). Guerrero weighed in at 145 1/2 pounds just a year ago for a fight against Aron Martinez. He is not a big welterweight at all.

Of Guerrero’s seven fights at welterweight, he has weighed in at as high as the 147-pound limit just twice.

Not that the 140-pound junior welterweight division would be a cake walk to a title. Viktor Postol and Terence Crawford are two of the champions. Those two beasts will take on each other Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

 

 

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Don’t look now, but Manny Pacquiao is going to fight again in the fall

April 9,2016. Las Vegas NV.  (in Wht/Yell tnks)/Manny Pacquiao  knocks down Timothy Bradley in the 9th round Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden hotel  Manny Pacquiao took the win by unanimous decision for the international  welterweight championship.Photo by Gene Blevins/LA Daily News

Manny Pacquiao connects to the face of Timothy Bradley in their April 9 fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas/Photo by Gene Blevins, L.A. Daily News

 

Moments after he handily defeated Timothy Bradley in their rubber match April 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao was asked if he indeed was going to retire like he said he would.

“Yes,” he said. “I’m going to go home and spend time with my family and I want to serve the people.”

Pacquiao, 37, was running for a seat in the Senate in his native Philippines at the time. He won in May, and is now a member. With that out of the way, Pacquiao has decided to make his retirement a short one by fighting at least one more time.

That figures to be either Oct. 29 or Nov. 5 in Las Vegas, his promoter, Bob Arum, said Tuesday. Arum did not seem the least bit surprised that Pacquiao wants to lace up the gloves again.

“I always knew he wanted to fight if the Senate allowed it, and the president of the Senate told him he can fight if it’s after the 15th (of October) because that week they were voting on the budget,” Arum said via telephone Tuesday evening.

Arum was asked about the opponent, and he gave a long list.

Terence Crawford is possible,” said Arum, who is promoting the July 23 junior welterweight title-unification bout between Crawford and Viktor Postol at MGM Grand (on HBO pay-per-view). “Postol, if he wins, is possible. Jessie Vargas is possible, (Danny) Garcia is possible. They’re all possible.”

Even if Crawford or Postol were to insist Pacquiao fight at junior welterweight, that shouldn’t be a problem because Pacquiao is a small welterweight. Vargas and Garcia are both welterweight champions, so either of them work as well.

A venue is not yet secured, and Arum is working on all that now.

Another avenue that could be taken would be a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather, 39, announced his retirement after defeating Andre Berto this past September. But Mayweather could make it 50-0 with another victory over Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs).

Mayweather won a unanimous decision over Pacquiao in a welterweight title-unification bout in May 2015. Afterward, Pacquiao revealed he fought with a torn rotator cuff. Pacquiao had surgery, came back 11 months later and fought very well in winning a rather wide decision over Bradley.

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Sammy Vasquez Jr. knows road to title in welterweight division a rough one

Sammy Vasquez Jr.

Sammy Vasquez Jr./Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Sammy Vasquez Jr. is ranked as high as No. 8 in the world by one governing body. But it’s in the welterweight division, which is loaded with talent. The champions are Keith “One Time” Thurman, Danny Garcia, Kell Brook and Jesse Vargas and two of the contenders are Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter.

Vasquez therefore knows it won’t be easy getting to the promised land that is a world championship.

“The division is loaded with great fighters,” said Vasquez, of Monessen, Pa. “With the exception of Jesse Vargas, all the champions are undefeated. The road to get to the top is very tough because everyone in the top 10 is an exceptional fighter.  I think it’s the toughest division in boxing.”

Vasquez is 21-0 with 15 knockouts. He’ll take on Felix Diaz (17-1, 8 KOs) of the Dominican Republic on July 16 at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. They will tangle underneath the heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola (on Fox).

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Danny Garcia knocks out Paulie Malignaggi in the ninth round

Danny Garcia/Photo courtesy of Ed Diller, DiBella Entertainment

 

Danny Garcia of Philadelphia on Friday emerged with a ninth-round technical knockout of Paulie Malignaggi in the welterweight main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs), a junior welterweight (140-pound) champion, had fought his previous two bouts at respective catch-weights of 141 and 143 pounds as he transitions to the 147-pound limit. Garcia weighed 146 3/4 for this one.

The lopsided bout was waved off at 2:22 of the round by referee Arthur Mercante.

This could be the last bout of Malignaggi’s career at age 34. The former junior welterweight and welterweight champion from Brooklyn is 33-7 with seven knockouts.

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Philly’s Danny Garcia says he’s following footsteps of other Puerto Rican greats

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Danny Garcia/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Super lightweight world champion Danny Garcia was born and raised in Philadelphia. But he is of Puerto Rican descent and when it comes to how he stacks up with other fighters of his heritage, he takes it very seriously.

“I used to love other great Puerto Rican boxers like Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto and Hector Camacho,” Garcia said. “I feel like I’m definitely working my way up into the ranks with them and following their footsteps.”

Right off the top, we noticed that Garcia left out Wilfredo Gomez. But Garcia has a lot on his mind as Saturday he will square off with fellow champion Lamont Peterson at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on NBC). Also, Gomez, 58, retired in 1989 – the year after Garcia was born.

Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) and Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) will be fighting at a catch-weight of 143 pounds, so their titles will not be on the line.

 

 

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Riverside’s Mauricio Herrera realizes what he’s up against with Danny Garcia

Mauricio Herrera of Riverside will have quite a task in front of him when he challenges Danny Garcia of Philadelphia for his two super lightweight belts on March 15 at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico (on Showtime). And he knows it.

“I know this is a huge opportunity, and I’m going to take full advantage of it,” said Herrera, 33. “To have a shot at Danny’s belts has been a dream of mine for a long time.

“Danny Garcia is an intelligent and tough fighter, but so am I. I’m coming to Puerto Rico and I know there is a lot of pressure. But, hopefully they will support me, too.”

Herrera (20-3, 7 KOs) , who has never fought for a major title, is Mexican-American. Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) is Puerto Rican-American, so he figures to have the bulk of the fans that night.

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