By Jake Donovan
Danny Garcia is undefeated and coming off of the biggest win of his young career. That very fight aired live on HBO and its end result earned him a major title.
That title is at stake this weekend when Garcia faces boxing superstar Amir Khan at the Mandalay in Las Vegas. The fight is his second on HBO, though the way the oddsmakers and critics tell it, you’d think it will be the last time we ever hear from the Philly native.
Garcia knows he’s one man against an army. He also knows a win over Khan - on the heels of a wide points win over faded former four-division titlist Erik Morales – moves his career from fighter on the rise to star in the making.
“Man, a win would be big,” Garcia (23-0, 14KO). “It would put me in a new category, superstar category, and we've been working and I'm pretty sure that we're going to get the job done.”
Golden Boy Promotions and Al Haymon have worked together to steadily progress Garcia’s level of completion both in talent and name value over the course of the past couple of years. A win over Nate Campbell last April served as a nice intro for what Garcia is capable of in the ring, although Campbell was well past prime and winless in his last three fights.
The turning point in his career came late in the second round of his Oct. ’11 title eliminator bout with Kendall Holt. Garcia fell behind early, but managed to hurt the former champ late in round two, permanently changing the course of the bout and possibly his career at home.
The win led to the showdown with Morales, marking his debut on HBO.
“That was my first fight on HBO against a legend in his home,” Garcia says, referencing the heavy Mexican population on hand for his fight with Morales, which took place in Houston. “He picked the gloves. He picked everything. He picked the ring. The only advantage I had in there was me being in shape and my confidence.”
Facing a prime A-list fighter such as Khan (26-2, 18KO) is a different beast altogether, but don’t tell that to Garcia. Surviving a hostile setting against a boxing legend gave him the confidence that he can overcome any obstacle in the pro ranks.
“[I]t showed that I can go into anywhere, be the underdog, have nothing on my side, and still win.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox