By Keith Idec
Richard Schaefer considers Danny Garcia the No. 3 boxer, pound-for-pound, in the world.
Golden Boy Promotions’ chief executive officer is annoyed that others haven’t given Garcia the same type of respect. Schaefer pointed to Garcia’s victories over Lucas Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs, 1 NC), one of boxing’s biggest punchers, Amir Khan (28-3, 19 KOs), one of the sport’s fastest, most diverse offensive fighters, and experienced ex-champions Zab Judah (42-9, 29 KOs, 2 NC) and Erik Morales (52-9, 36 KOs) as evidence Garcia deserves such recognition.
“This guy knows how to deal with speed at the highest level, with power at the highest level and with experience at the highest level,” Schaefer said when discussing Garcia’s fight Saturday night against Mauricio Herrera. “When you look at that and you do that fight after fight after fight, I believe the pound-for-pound list is reserved for exactly people like that. Not because they have one great fight or had a great amateur career, and things like that. No, you earn that spot. And I think if one guy has earned it, it’s Danny Garcia. And I believe that Danny Garcia, today on my list, is No. 3 pound-for-pound.”
Despite sustained success at the elite level the past couple years, Philadelphia’s Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) still hasn’t made some pound-for-pound lists. BoxingScene.com ranks Garcia eighth on its pound-for-pound list. But The Ring magazine, which is owned by Golden Boy Promotions, doesn’t rank Garcia among its top 10 pound-for-pound.
When Schaefer sees fighters such as unbeaten Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0, 8 KOs) on pound-for-pound lists, and not Garcia, it’s especially aggravating.
“I really, honestly, from my heart believe that the pound-for-pound list is based on not just one fight,” Schaefer said. “You look at a guy like Rigondeaux, who’s a great fighter. But he really has one good win, and that was Donaire. Or you look at somebody like Klitschko, who had many great fights, but the quality of his opposition is just not really there. Danny is fortunate that he is in a weight class where the biggest and best names are fighting. And Danny never turns down any fight or any fighter. He takes anybody on and when he went into that fight with Matthysse, all of you media guys, maybe with the exception of one or two, picked Matthysse to win. Danny was, I think, a 9-1 underdog, something like that. People even said he was scared, [stuff] like that. And you saw what he did.
“Every single time this guy steps up. And it is time now, and I hardly ever get this outspoken, it is time now Danny Garcia gets the proper respect. And by the way, for all of you that think that I have something to do with the ratings in The Ring magazine because Golden Boy owns it, I can tell you I don’t. Because otherwise … I can tell you the pound-for-pound list in The Ring magazine is a [bleeping] joke. Some of the people which are on there, they definitely need an overhaul. And Danny Garcia is not even in the top 10. It’s a shame. Shame on those writers who don’t have Danny Garcia at least in the top 10. In my book, he is in the top three. But I’m going to leave it at that.”
Though less animated about it, Garcia agreed with Schaefer’s assessment of where he belongs on pound-for-pound lists.
“I think Richard is accurate, man,” Garcia said. “I fought the best, I never turned down a fight and I beat the best. And I think the pound-for-pound list is about fighting the best and beating the best. And like he said, there are a few good fighters out there who did it, and I’m one of them.”
Garcia’s fight against Herrera (20-3, 7 KOs), a 12-rounder for Garcia’s WBA and WBC 140-pound titles, will headline a Showtime doubleheader from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The 9 p.m. telecast will begin with a 12-round WBC elimination bout between heavyweights Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Philadelphia’s Malik Scott (36-1-1, 13 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.