By Miguel Rivera
On Wednesday, it was officially announced that WBC welterweight world champion Danny "Swift" Garcia would return on Saturday, November 12, in a non-title fight against Colombia's Samuel Vargas.
Garcia vs. Vargas will headline a Premier Boxing Champions on Spike broadcast from Temple University's Liacouras Center in the champion's hometown of Philadelphia.
According to PBC, Garcia's fight against Vargas is the final hurdle before his highly anticipated welterweight world title unification showdown against undefeated WBA champion Keith Thurman. They say the fight is being planned for the first quarter of 2017.
World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman explained his reasons for approving Garcia's participation in this non-title contest.
For one, Garcia has no mandatory due at this time. His mandatory challenger is Amir Khan, who underwent surgery on his right hand and won't be ready to fight again until March at the earliest.
Another factor in the WBC's decision, is Garcia advising the sanctioning body that Vargas is a tuneup bout on route to a title unification with Thurman next year.
"The idea of ??unifying with Keith Thurman in the future is very good, it is a mega fight. And the WBC will always extend their support to ensure that the best fights are made, so he was granted the opportunity to [take a fight where he wouldn't] defend the championship," Sulaiman told ESPN Deportes.
"The fight is going to be 10 rounds. He asked for permission and his request was granted, because he is not in a mandatory period - as Amir Khan continues his recommended rehabilitation."
Garcia (32-0, 18KOs) has been out of the ring since January, when he captured the vacant WBC welterweight title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero.
Last year at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Vargas (25-2, 13KOs) was easily knocked out in four rounds by IBF mandatory title challenger Errol Spence.