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.
Rivals Top Rank Inc. and Golden Boy Promotions on Saturday once again went up against each other with nationally televised shows on the same night.
Over at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Mikey Garcia of Oxnard retained his super featherweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos of Mexico. Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs) won by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109. Burgos is 30-2-2.
In the semi-main event, heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings (18-0, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia stopped Artur Szpilka (16-1) of Poland in the 10th round.
That Top Rank card was televised by HBO.
Over at DC Armory in Washington D.C., Lamont Peterson of Washington D.C. defended his super lightweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Dierry Jean of Canada. Peterson (32-2-1) won by scores of 115-13, 116-112 and 118-111. Jean is 25-1.
In the semi-main event, junior middleweight Jermell Charlo of Houston remained undefeated with a 10-round unanimous decision over tough Gabriel Rosado (21-8) of Philadelphia. Charlo (23-0) won by scores of 97-93, 99-91 and 100-90.
That Golden Boy Promotions card was televised by Showtime.
Lamont Peterson will begin his 2014 campaign at home when he defends his junior welterweight belt against Dierry Jean of Canada at DC Armory in Peterson’s native Washington D.C. (on Showtime).
It will be Peterson’s first fight since he was stopped in the third round by Lucas Matthysse in May at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. However, Peterson kept his belt because it was not on the table.
Peterson, 29, is 31-2-1 with 16 knockouts. Jean, 31, is 25-0 with 17 knockouts.
Peterson is stoked to be fighting in his backyard.
“This is a perfect way for me to kick off 2014, with a great fight against a tough opponent in my hometown,” he said.
Jean aims to spoil Peterson’s homecoming.
“Peterson has been in the ring with many good fighters, but he hasn’t been in the ring with me,” Jean said. “I’ve worked hard for this for a long time. I have already started training camp and I’m in great shape.”
Lucas Matthysse’s reputation as a hard-hitting fighter is well-earned – he is 33-2 with 31 knockouts. That’s a knockout ratio of 86 percent.
Lamont Peterson knows all about Matthysse, so he realizes that when he squares off with him next Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (on Showtime), he’ll be in the fire.
“I’m not worried about Matthysse,” said Peterson, of Washington D.C. “I’ve known him for a while. He’s a strong guy. He’s going to bring it all night, pretty much the way I like it to be, and it’s going to be a great fight.
“Everyone keeps asking me about his punching power. I know what I signed up for. I realize I’m going to get hit in the face. But I will be hitting him back.”
Peterson, 29, is 31-1-1 with 16 knockouts. Matthysse is 30.
The card is being staged by Golden Boy Promotions. The co-feature will see Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) of St. Louis defending his welterweight belt against Lee Purdy (20-3-1, 13 KOs) of England.