By Keith Idec, photo by Premier Boxing Champions
Danny Garcia makes no apologies for his fight Saturday night.
He has been criticized for facing Colombia’s Samuel Vargas at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia (Spike) in a tune-up for his March 4 showdown with Keith Thurman.
Garcia, who hasn’t fought since he beat Robert Guerrero on January 23 in Los Angeles, contends he had no other choice than to take a lesser fight for which several Internet sports books list Vargas (25-2-1, 13 KOs) as a 16-1 underdog.
“It was very important,” Garcia told BoxingScence.com. “You can’t go into a big fight off a 14-month layoff. I don’t know who does that. I’ve gotta be dumb to do that. I’ve gotta get my mind into fight mode. We’re looking forward to this fight and the future.”
Garcia’s layoff will have lasted nearly 10 months partially because negotiations for a proposed fall fight against Andre Berto fell apart, presumably over money. Premier Boxing Champions organizer Al Haymon eventually decided against televising fights on network television in September and October.
Rather than revisit a possible Garcia-Berto bout, Haymon pursued a more appealing welterweight championship unification bout between Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs), the WBC world 147-pound champion, and Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs), the WBA world welterweight champion.
Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla., will be a guest commentator for the Spike broadcast, which will start at 9 p.m. Saturday.
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.