Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Danny Garcia: The Perception of Control

image

By Cliff Rold, photo by Premier Boxing Champions

To a certain segment of the fan base, the perception of control is everything.

This has been a regularly disappointing year in boxing. Several big fights have fallen through or been delayed (with no guarantee they ever happen). The Heavyweight Champion of the World couldn’t hold himself together long enough to make a single title defense. Fans have been reduced to cheering in almost surprise when the end of the year premium cable slate came up with some good fights as if they don’t pay a monthly stipend in large part for that very thing.

Blame is always easy to pass around. Who gets blamed varies.

In the case of Danny Garcia, the now WBC welterweight titlist, blame for his choice of opponents often falls on him. He’s been savaged in certain corners of the social media echo chamber because of the Rod Salka fight, a battle with a faded Paulie Malignaggi and for a tune-up tomorrow night Samuel Vargas.

Here’s the rub: since his career defining win over Lucas Matthysse, have Garcia’s opponents really been that bad? Mauricio Herrera, Lamont Peterson, and Robert Guerrero were all solid opponents. The first two of those three arguably beat him. Guerrero gave a good account of himself.

And if Garcia defeats Vargas Saturday (Spike TV, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST) as he is expected to, it sets up a unification bout his next time out with undefeated Keith Thurman. Based on television rating produced under the PBC banner, it is the biggest fight that can be made on their side of the street.

With that fight looming, complaints about a tune up sound like so much wasteful air. One or both parties before a big, tough fight taking a softer touch one fight out is as old as boxing itself.

True, today it’s more acute. When Julio Cesar Chavez took a soft touch, it was part of a five or six fight yearly plate. When Harry Greb did it, it was just in lieu of camp before he grabbed a drink; his whirlwind schedule was commensurate to the style attributed to his legend.

That excuse doesn’t fly today. If a proven talent is only going to fight every six-to-nine months, soft touches feel like an insult to some fans.

danny-garcia (10)_4

The insult intensifies if control is perceived.

In the case of Garcia, his is a team that is perceived to be calling their shots. His father, amusing to some in a laugh at and not with him sort of way, making public statements validating the perception doesn’t help. It’s not to say here that perception isn’t reality.

However, there is something to be said for the strength of narratives that form and their ability to weather comparison. Garcia has managed at least one world-class, if not prime elite, opponent per year since Matthysse. That’s, sadly, pretty much par for the course for almost all star fighters right now.

What makes Garcia so much worse an offender than others?

In his case, it’s because for many it creates the appearance that this is exactly as hard as he wants it. For a segment of the fan base, Al Haymon has replaced Don King as the cancer that is holding boxing back, no matter the myriad other examples of people protecting their home court. Garcia is a big part of the Haymon. There is also the idea that his connections were the difference in decisions against Herrera and Peterson.

Maybe those scraps explain it best. Fans don’t like a pretender. Those two fights, after a Matthysse fight that elevated his respect among fight fans, showed how beatable he is. His soft touches then aren’t just about whom he’s fighting but that he’s avoiding a comeuppance.

If Garcia isn’t good enough to beat Thurman, well, we’ll find out shortly. If he is, then he’s just another guy in this era underachieving from what his real potential might be with an infrequent fight schedule and inconsistent opposition.

That’s not really a Garcia problem. It’s a boxing problem in the 21st century.

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by PR ESQ. on 11-12-2016

21st. Century game indeed. Swift should fill vacuum after Thurman to resurrect his career and systematically take out the division with fire for match ups, we all win with dope fights.

Comment by ruedboy on 11-12-2016

Garcia's signature win was Mattysse. After that win, it was about protecting the O and trolling for the big one, Floyd Mayweather. We understand it, we can see how the game is played that way, but we don't have to…

Comment by AdonisCreed on 11-12-2016

I wanna see Danny Garcia vs Terrance Crawford all that trash talk got my attention lol If he beats Thurman and Crawford back to back that would be a career defining moment

Comment by Metho_4u on 11-12-2016

Absolutely he MOST pathetic champion possibly in history. I'll bet he ducks Thurman too...GayLoveKin is the next worst champ fighting WW's and cab drivers.

Comment by Lou Cipher on 11-12-2016

Lol Lou Cipher approves

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (22)
Top Headlines Looking Back a Decade at a Hall of Fame Finale Tyson Fury Tears Apart Deontay Wilder's "Biggest Career Wins" AIBA Submits Reports TO IOC With Olympic Future at Stake Manu Vatuvei vs. Brown Buttabean Set For Parker-Flores Card Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Warns 168: You Are All on Notice - I'm Back! Photos: Maurice Hooker, Alex Saucedo - Open Workouts News: David Papot, Eric Walker, Ievgen Khytrov, More De La Hoya: Mayweather Was Looking For Attention With Rizin Jaron Ennis Motivated By Goal of Unifying Welterweight Division Emmanuel Tagoe Inks Promotional With Lou DiBella Donaire: If I Land My Best Shots, I Believe I Can Stop Zolani Tete Bellew: I Want Reality Back, I Want a Normal Life and I Will Find It Shohjahon Ergashev Secures a Rapid Knockout Win in Chicago Agit Kabayel vs. Otto Wallin on February 3rd or 23rd in Germany Bivol: Pascal's Style Will Make Better Fight Than Chilemba Bout Manager: Usyk Will Need a Fight or Two Before Joshua Title Fight Conlan Eyes Warrington: Win or Lose, I'd Love To Fight Him Jarrell Miller: Dillian Whyte is a Clown, Nobody is Afraid of Him Sullivan Barrera: I'm a Free Agent - I Want Alvarez, Beterbiev, Jack Tomoki Kameda Eyes Rey Vargas After Capturing WBC Interim-Belt Linares: Canelo is Best Pound-For-Pound Fighter in The World Malignaggi: Bellew Was Clever & Good; Usyk Was Very Frustrated Froch: Fighting Joshua May Be Too Ambitious For 'Special' Usyk Hearn Expects Purse Bid Battle For Lomachenko-Crolla Rights Eddie Hearn: Tony Bellew One Of Best Men You'll Ever Meet Jazza Dickens on Life in Miami, Training in The United States Malignaggi: Usyk Should Fight Whyte, Chisora or Oquendo First Luis Ortiz: Wilder Will Put Fury To Sleep - Then I Want Rematch! Brian Phillips Discusses Life Inside Tyson Fury's Training Camp Tony Bellew - Just a World-Class Fighter Rizin Aims To Get Mayweather vs. Nasukawa Back on Track Usyk Will Take His Time, Will Not Rush To a Joshua Fight Tony Bellew: I Had To Retire, My Body Can't Take it No More Tevin Farmer To Face Francisco Fonseca on Canelo-Fielding Card Marine Sergeant Morante Campaigns For Boxing in Paralympics Commey: Mikey Garcia Knew it Was a Massive Risk To Fight Me Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tony Bellew - CompuBox Punch Stats Haye: I Had Bellew Ahead Of Usyk By One, But He Unraveled Whyte: I Would Maul Usyk All Night, He'll Struggle at Heavyweight! Photos: Gamboa, Juanma Win Bouts To Set Up 2019 Showdown
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement