By Carlos Boogs
WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman and IBF number one contender Errol Spence have come out firing in the direction of WBC welterweight world champion Danny "Swift" Garcia. Both fighters questioned the level of opposition in his next fight, and Thurman gave him the trademark "Cherry Garcia" photo.
Many were shocked, and some were not, when it was revealed that Garcia would return on Saturday, November 12, in a non-title fight against massive underdog Samuel Vargas of Colombia.
The fight will headline a Premier Boxing Champions card on Spike TV from Temple University's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
Last April at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Spence battered Vargas (25-2, 13KOs) for a four round knockout. It was a one-sided wipeout, with Vargas being placed in as a showcase opponent for a rising contender.
Spence stated, not that long ago, that he was ready to face the top names in the division. Garcia, in response to that, said Spence had to "prove himself" to get the big names in the ring.
"Danny say I have to pay my dues but he fighting somebody I knocked out already," Spence reacted upon hearing the news of Garcia-Vargas.
According to PBC, Garcia's fight against Vargas is the final hurdle before his highly anticipated welterweight world title unification showdown against Thurman, planned for the first quarter of 2017.
His manager Al Haymon was applying a lot of pressure on him to face Thurman in the fall. Because of his inactivity, Garcia wanted at least one tuneup fight before moving forward with a unification against Thurman, a fight reportedly agreed up for early 2017.
Thurman sent a message to him, loud and clear, and with the picture above.
"Enjoy your last cherry of the year ... I'll be waiting to take that green belt in 2017," Thurman blasted out.
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. He was initially being moved to face former champion Andre Berto on October 15th. Berto claimed that Garcia never wanted to sign the contract. Then Garcia was slated to face John Molina, who was going to move up from junior welterweight and was coming off a big win over Ruslan Provodnikov, and that fight fell through as well.