For Garcia, fight with Salka not about a title

Posted: August 01, 2014

THE OPPONENT'S lack of a rating by the World Boxing Council or World Boxing Association will deny Danny Garcia a title defense on Aug. 9, but that doesn't seem to really bother the undefeated light-welterweight world champion from Juniata Park.

"To me it doesn't even matter, title fight or not, because at the end of the day it's my show," Garcia said. "I'm going to put up a great performance. I'm going to go out there and give the fans a great fight. Don't worry about it not being a title fight because it's still a fight. It's still a fight."

That fight, a 10-round bout against Rod Salka at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, has drawn its share of criticism, most of which stems from Salka's perceived standing in the boxing world. A 31-year-old from the Pittsburgh suburb of Bunola, Salka is 19-3 with just three knockouts and lacks the name recognition of other potential Garcia opponents like Lamont Peterson, the International Boxing Federation light-welterweight champ fighting on the same card.

Garcia's bout with Salka was originally announced as a 12-round championship fight, but word soon trickled out that neither the WBC nor WBA would sanction it. Once that was realized, the fighters agreed on a 142-pound catchweight fight, with Salka, who typically fights at 135 pounds, getting a bit heavier in the wallet.

Garcia (28-0, 16 knockouts) has defended his unified WBC and WBA belts four times. A week from Saturday could signify his final fight at light-welterweight before making the jump to welterweight, but neither he, nor his father and trainer Angel Garcia, would say that for sure. A matchup worth staying at the 140-pound class could keep him there for another go-around.

Time will tell.

"It's a step forward to go up to 147," Garcia said of the 142-pound catchweight for the Salka fight. "Or maybe it's just a break from me making 140. I've been making 140 for about 3, 4 years straight. Sometimes it's good to break and then come back down or go up. That's where we are right now."

Garcia, 26, is nearing the end of his preparations in Philadelphia before heading to New York on Tuesday night. Angel Garcia raved about his son's current training camp, saying the boxer looks even better than he did before his big September win over Lucas Matthysse. Danny said he's sparred more than 100 rounds. Yesterday, in a workout at his Juniata Park gym, he went four rounds hitting into his father's punching mitts and two more with his older brother, Erik, wielding a punching shield before moving on to the heavy bag and finishing up on the speed bag.

Angel Garcia said his son isn't underestimating Salka in the wake of the much-debated majority decision win over journeyman Mauricio Herrera in March. Many questioned whether Danny deserved to earn the decision.

"When you get that kind of exposure and that kind of [negative] media of the last fight, then what happens is the person you're ready to fight in the future pays the consequences," Angel Garcia said. "[Salka is] going to pay all the consequences, not because we hate him or nothing, [but] because he's in the wrong place at the wrong time right now."

The outspoken elder Garcia is always good for a rant or two during any given session with the media. Yesterday he was emphatic when discussing his son's impending move to the 147-pound weight class.

"When Danny goes to '47, we're going to take the '47 down, too," Angel said. "I don't care who it is. I don't care who the killers are. I don't care who the tough guy is. I don't care who's the pretty guy. I don't care who's the red guy. I don't care who's the black guy. I don't care who's the blue guy. I don't care about none of them guys. I know when we go to '47 we gonna take over '47."

On Twitter: @jakemkaplan

comments powered by Disqus