As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, former world super lightweight and welterweight world boxing champion Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) returns from the first loss of his career in February against former world champion Brandon Rios, it was announced a few days ago.
The fight will headline a February 17the Showtime televised card at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas that also includes unbeaten David Benavidez making his first World Boxing Council super middleweight title defense in a rematch with Ronald Gavril.
Garcia, 33-1 with 19 knockouts, suffered the first defeat of his career last March, dropping a split decision to fellow American Keith Thurman at Brooklyn in a unification showdown for the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association welterweight crowns.
Garcia has no problem with the time off, and believes that he physically needed it.
Now he's vowed to fight and beat the top fighters who are currently holding belts at 147-pounds.
"I was the reigning champion for six years, so I needed the rest. I'm ready to kick off the year in style and take over the welterweight division," Garcia said.
In his last fight, a welterweight clash of world title holders, Garcia lost via split decision to now unified WBC, WBA world champion Keith Thurman in a hard-fought fight.
Now he's going against the 31-year-old Rios, who is 34-3 with one draw and 25 knockouts. The former WBA lightweight champion dropped three of his past six starts, including a 2013 Macao matchup against Manny Pacquiao, but won his most recent bout by knocking out Mexico's Aaron Herrera this past June after a 19-month layoff.
Because of their styles, Garcia expects fireworks from the sound of the first bell.
"What's interesting in this fight with Brandon Rios is our styles. We both like to come forward. This kind of matchup will bring out the best in both of us. I'm excited to be back in Las Vegas. I've had some of my best performances and some of my biggest fights there. I beat Lucas Matthysse and Amir Khan in Vegas. You fight in Las Vegas, you're a superstar," added Garcia.