John Smallwood: Garcia Returns Morales' Generosity

Danny Garcia wraps his hands before a sparring session during media day at his home gym,Harrowgate Boxing Club Inc.    CLEM MURRAY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Danny Garcia wraps his hands before a sparring session during media day at his home gym,Harrowgate Boxing Club Inc.    CLEM MURRAY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Current champion eager for rematch with one who gave him his first title shot

Posted: October 14, 2012

Danny Garcia has no problem giving Erik Morales a rematch for the light welterweight world championship he took from him in March.

The way Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) views it, Morales (52-8, 36 KOs), who held the World Boxing Council belt at the time, gave the 24-year-old from

Juniata Park a shot at the title when there was little for him to gain and a lot to lose.

As Garcia said, "nobody knew" him when Morales gave him the opportunity to win his first world championship.

He beat Morales by a unanimous decision.

So when the future Hall of Fame fighter from Mexico, who is 49th on the ESPN list of 50 Greatest Boxers of All Time, got the call to be Garcia's second title defense, there was no conflict, just a return in kind.

Amir Khan, however, is another story.

Khan, the superstar fighter from Great Britain, is the reason why Garcia-Morales II, slated for Oct. 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, is for the unified title.

Khan got starched by Garcia via a fourth-round knockout in their fight on July 14 in Las Vegas.

Garcia's father and manager, Angel, said after the fight that he didn't think Khan was worthy of a rematch.

"We're looking at bigger things in life," he said back then.

His tune had not changed on Thursday, when Danny had a pre-fight media workout/interview session for the Morales fight at their home gym, Harrowgate Boxing Club Inc. on East Venango Street.

"What did Khan do to get a rematch?" Angel Garcia asked. "I don't know."

Earlier in the week, Khan, who is training for a fight with Carlos Molina, told ESPN.co.uk that he wants "another crack at Danny Garcia to get my titles back."

There's no enthusiasm for it from Team Garcia. They don't see Morales and Khan as equal situations.

"Morales gave me a better fight than Khan; plus he gave me a shot at title when nobody knew me," Danny Garcia said. "If anyone deserves a rematch, he does.

"If a champion gives you a shot, you've got to give him one back."

Neither Morales nor Khan inserted a rematch clause into his contract, possibly because both were confident that they would not need one against the up-and-coming Garcia.

"Honestly to me, none of them deserve a rematch," Angel Garcia said.

Rematches have been a part of combat sports since they began.

A good fight naturally will have people wondering whether a rematch will be just as good. On rare occasions, there have been matchups worthy of even a trilogy - such as Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier.

Ali had six rematches, including two trilogies (Frazier and Ken Norton) in his career.

But can too much of a good thing turn sour?

This is the third rematch of Morales' storied career. He has fought Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera three times each.

Barrera also has fought Pacquiao twice.

Besides his multiple encounters with Morales and Barrera, Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time on Dec. 8.

Garcia prefers not to establish that pattern.

"I don't want Danny to fall into that rematch thing," Angel Garcia said. "At some point, we've also got to give the fans what they want. How many times can they watch the same guys?

"This is going to be a good fight, don't get me wrong, but can they watch it a third time? No, I don't think so."

But like a lot of things in boxing, the next matchup isn't always in the fighter's control. Boxing is controlled by a few power-broker promotion companies.

Fights, no matter how attractive they look to the public, won't come off unless all parties agree, and the men who step in to the ring usually have the least say about it.

That's why we haven't and probably never will see the one fight the public is still demanding - Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The Garcias said they took the rematch with Morales because Danny's manager, Al Haymon, negotiated it as the next fight.

Haymon, who started his promotional career as a manager for music stars such as M.C. Hammer, New Edition, Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige, has been the subject of much debate since he entered the boxing world around the turn of the century.

But as far as the Garcias are concerned, Haymon has done nothing but guide Danny down a road of undefeated success.

"We took [the Morales rematch], because Al wanted us to," Angel Garcia said. "Al picks. I train. Danny fights.

"That's how we work it, and Al hasn't steered us wrong yet."

Despite his distaste for rematches, Angel Garcia takes a metaphysical approach.

"I listen to destiny," he said. "If you tell me this is next, I'm not going to change it because when you do you are breaking destiny. When you start changing to pick things, you might be messing up something good that is supposed to be.

"Honestly to me, none of them basically deserve a rematch. But it's what Al wants to do. If later, he wants a third rematch with Morales, that's what we'll do."

They would fight even Khan again, begrudgingly, if they had to.


Contact John Smallwood at smallwj@phillynews.com.

For recent columns, go to philly.com/JohnSmallwood.

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