by Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has advised BoxingScene.com that Danny Garcia (24-0, 15KOs) will defend his WBA/WBC junior welterweight titles against former four division beltholder Erik Morales (52-8, 36KOs) on October 20th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Garcia-Morales will headline an event being billed as "Brooklyn Pride" - which is going to play big role in the grand opening weekend at Barclays.
Garcia captured the WBC title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Morales in March. The Puerto Rican fighter returned on July 14 at the Mandalay Bay and shockingly stopped heavily favored Amir Khan in four rounds.
While HBO televised Garcia's huge upset of Khan, Showtime has secured the rematch with Morales. Several of the undercard fights will be televised by Showtime Extreme.
Morales, who had a rematch clause from the first meeting with Garica, feels confident of winning the rematch. He believes his pre-fight surgical procedure [gall bladder], which postponed the initial January date with Garcia, affected his training camp and also led to his inability to make weight in March.
"When he gave the opportunity to Danny, it was not the mandatory, so when he gave him the opportunity he wanted to make sure that if things didn't go his way that he would have the opportunity back, and that's what this is," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
"The first fight was a terrific fight. Morales, he had issues, he had surgery. He feels confident, and that's why he was pushing for the rematch, [because he believes] that this time he will beat Danny Garcia. It's going to be his opportunity. I know one thing for sure, given the way that both guys fight, that's its going to be another one of those toe to toe battles that we love to do. Morales really, really wants it and Danny Garcia is a very exciting fighter. You put those two together and it's going to be an exciting night and the kind of night that Brooklyn boxing deserves."
After Garcia captured the title from Morales, the Mexican veteran quickly requested an immediate rematch with Garcia. However, he allowed Garcia to move forward with a unification with Khan, and now Morales wants the opportunity to get revenge.
"Never underestimate Erik Morales. Everyone underestimated him against [Marcos] Maidana and you saw what happened. This is a huge, huge opportunity for Erik Morales - like it was a huge opportunity for Danny Garcia when Erik gave him the opportunity. We had discussed [the rematch] with Erik, when Danny was fighting with Khan. Erik wanted to go immediately in a rematch with Danny, but he was cool with giving Danny the opportunity to fight Amir Khan. But now he said 'look if you're going to put Danny in with someone else, that's not right.' And I agree with him. In boxing it is about opportunities and Erik Morales is certainly a fighter who certainly deserves that opportunity and someone who we know will deliver a very exciting fight," Schaefer said.
Golden Boy is putting together a stacked undercard with several fighters from the New York City area - including WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KOs), middleweight contenders Peter Quillin (27-0, 20 KOs) and Danny Jacobs (22-1, 19 KOs), welterweight contender Dmitriy Salita (33-1-1, 17 KOs), and junior welterweight prospect Eddie Gomez (9-0, 6 KOs) of the Bronx.
"With Erik Morales you have the Mexican element. With Danny Garcia, from Philadelphia, you have the Puerto Rican element. With Paulie Malignaggi and Peter Quillin, and Danny Jacobs you have the Brooklyn contingent. You have Eddie Gomez, one of those young terrific fighters from the New York area, from the Bronx. It's looks like we're going to have Dmitry Salita on there as well, so we're going to have the Jewish angle. I think what it's going to show that night, is the diversity of Brooklyn and the diversity of greater New York and it's going to be a terrific night of boxing," Schaefer said.