And if the 24-year-old Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs) takes care of business against future Hall of Famer Morales (52-7, 36 KOs), a four-division champ and Mexican icon but a well-worn 35, his next opponent could be North Philly's Mike Jones (26-0, 19 KOs).
Jones, a welterweight, is rated No. 1 in his weight class by both the IBF and WBO, and he is scheduled to face veteran power-puncher Randall Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs) for the vacant IBF 147-pound crown on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That fight will be part of a major pay-per-view telecast topped by the matchup of WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.
Garcia and Jones, 28, each said he would like to appear as a world champion in his hometown. So why not test themselves against each other should they clear their respective hurdles? If Garcia is not comfortable immediately moving up to welterweight, it seems reasonable that a catchweight bout, somewhere around 143 pounds, could be arranged at the Wells Fargo Center or Liacouras Center, provided the money is right.
That's a lot of ifs, notes J Russell Peltz, who promotes Jones along with Top Rank.
"Both guys would have to win their world titles in spectacular fashion," Peltz said when asked whether Garcia-Jones was doable for the not-too-distant future. "I'm not sure how many sports fans in Philadelphia know who Jones and Garcia are yet. I'm not talking about hard-core boxing fans, but Eagles fans, Phillies fans. That's the difference between drawing a crowd of 15,000 and one of maybe 3,000."
The last of the all-Philly megafights that so piqued the city's interest were waged more than 35 years ago at the Spectrum. On Nov. 18, 1975, fan favorites Bennie Briscoe and Eugene "Cyclone" Hart battled to a 10-round draw, setting the stage for the April 6, 1976, rematch, which Briscoe won on a first-round knockout.
There was much speculation in the late 1980s that Meldrick Taylor, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist and IBF junior welterweight champion, might defend his title at the Spectrum against "Rockin' " Rodney Moore, the "King of the Blue Horizon." A date - Nov. 20, 1989 - for a discretionary defense by Taylor even had been agreed upon, but Moore suffered a nasty gash over his left eye in outpointing Willie Taylor (no relation) on Oct. 6 of that year. Meldrick Taylor then relinquished his title on a controversial, 12th-round stoppage in his March 17, 1990, unification showdown with Julio Cesar Chavez in Las Vegas, and Taylor-Moore never happened.
There is never is a guarantee the most attractive pairings can be made. Riddick Bowe never fought h Mike Tyson or Lennox Lewis, and the one fight everyone most wants to see now -Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. - seems destined to tumble and disappear.
Even if Garcia and Jones were to win their respective titles, other impediments figure to loom. Top Rank founder Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, which promotes Garcia, intensely dislike each other. There also is the possibility the 6-foot Jones, who is 3 inches taller than Garcia, will soon outgrow the welterweight division, which would create a size gap that might not be easily bridged.
Besides, any fighter will tell you that the quickest way to lose is to look past your next opponent. And Morales, even if he is past his prime, doesn't figure to be a walk in the park for the younger, quicker, stronger Garcia.
Who: Erik Morales (52-7, 36 KOs) vs. Danny Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs)
What: 12-round super-lightweight bout for Morales' WBC world championship
Where: Reliant Arena, Houston
TV: HBO, coverage begins at 10 p.m. with the co-featured bout: James Kirkland (30-1, 27 KOs) vs. Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 6 KOs) for Kirkland's WBC Continental Americas super-welterweight title.
Contact Bernard Fernandez at email@example.com