Unbeaten former unified junior welterweight world champion Danny Swift Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) will officially move up to the welterweight division. He has vacated his Junior Welterweight titles. His first fight at the weight will be against former two-time division world champion Pauli Malignaggi August 1st. The bout will take place in Malignaggi’s native Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Center and aired on ESPN2. This will be the 5th time Garcia has fought at this venue.
Garcia had a very successful reign as a world champion at 140. Two of his wins that standout most were over Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse. Garcia entered both of those fights as the underdog. The Khan fight was a dramatic one as he came from behind on the scorecards to knock Khan out. The Matthysse fight showed his versatility as he was able to outbox Matthysee and also dropped him in route to winning by decision. Garcia has also had his share of what many felt were controversial decisions. His victories over Mauricio Herrerra and Lamont Peterson were highly criticized.
Garcia was a very big junior welterweight. It will be interesting to see if he carries that same power at 140 up to 147. Malignaggi is probably the right opponent to break into the division with for Garcia. He will likely push Garcia as he is very crafty but he is not a big puncher. This will allow for Garcia to be able to take more risks. He doesn’t have the power threat from Malignaggi to worry about to make him pay for any of his defensive mistakes during the fight. Garcia is not the explosive fighter that Shawn Porter is so those expecting to see the same result as Porter had vs. Maliganaggi last year may be a bit surprised if Malignaggi has some success with Garcia. It’s a totally different fight.
If Garcia gets past Malignaggi as expected there are much bigger fights down the road for him. His advisor Al Haymon has many of the top welterweights like pound for pound unbeaten king Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Keith Thurman, and Porter just to name a few. Garcia is doing it the right way by gradually working his way into the division. He may even have another fight at welterweight following Malignaggi before taking on one of the upper echelon guys. This way when he does step up he won’t be putting himself at a distinct disadvantage. The talent and skill are there for sure with Garcia. It should just be a matter of him getting acclimated to his new weight.