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Danny “Swift” Garcia Says He Belongs in the Mix

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The deepest talent pool in boxing belongs to the junior welterweight division.

Brandon Rios, Victor Ortiz, Marcos Maidana, Josesito Lopez, Tim Bradley and Amir Khan are a few of the top names currently wading in the 140 pound waters.

Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia feels he’s prepared to dive in with the rest. “I’m ready for all of them right now,” said the confident 22 year old. “I’m young and determined. I’m hungry, I have just as many skills and I’m stronger than all those guys.”

Hefty words from the undefeated (19-0, 13 KO’s) son of Puerto Rican immigrants.

His impressive fourth round knockout of former title contender Michael Arnaoutis in October of 2010 earned him some believers.

Arnaoutis, a polished boxer who is now considered a junior welterweight gate-keeper, was boxing effectively for the first two rounds and seemed to be giving Garcia trouble with his left handed stance.

It was in the third round that Garcia demonstrated one of the qualities a fighter must have if he’s ever to transcend prospect status. The ability to adapt.

It was near the end of the round when a perfectly timed and thunderous left-cross dropped Arnaoutis. The courageous Greek warrior got up quickly then stumbled down again. He rose again just as the bell rang.

In the fourth round, Garcia displayed another important quality. The ability to finish your wounded prey. He pounced on his still dazed foe and eventually caught him again with a right then a left that finished the job.

“It was just a matter of finding my range,” he remembers. “I can fight any style they put in front of me. Eventually I figure my opponent out.”

Garcia watched the recent Tim Bradley vs. Devon Alexander title fight with special interest. “Bradley is relentless. The difference between me and other fighters that Bradley’s fought in the past, is that none of those fighters have the kind of power I have,” he assured. “Bradley isn’t going to respect anyone who can’t punch. If he charges in on me he’s going to get hit hard and he’s been dropped a few times in the past.”

“I’m looking forward to fighting all the top guys,” said Garcia. “I love competition and I love the spotlight. I want all the big fights and I want to be a superstar.”

Hailing from Philly, home of boxing greats like Meldrick Taylor, Bernard Hopkins and countless others, he has big shoes he gladly wants to fill. “Being from a historic fight town actually motivates me. It makes me want to bring up my game so I can live up to the legend,” said Garcia. “The hardest thing about being from Philly are the distractions but I’m always working on staying focused. I’m not much of a partier or anything.”

He picked up his affinity for the sport like most fighters and boxing fans. “When I was a kid I used to watch boxing with my dad. I watched Felix Trinidad and Oscar de La Hoya,” said Garcia. “The sport came really easy to me and I fell in love with it.”

After a stellar amateur career of 107 wins 13 losses and two U.S. National amateur titles, he was considered a blue chip prospect once he turned pro. De La Hoya’s promotional company quickly took notice and signed him to a promotional deal. “It’s been a real blessing. There are thousands of fighters out there that just want a shot,” said Garcia. “To watch Oscar when I was young and now to be a part of his team, I feel lucky and I’m going to take full advantage of the opportunity.”

“Swift” got his nickname at eleven years old from a pro boxer in his gym who felt young Danny carried a “too cool for the room” attitude. As nicknames usually do, it stuck with him for life. “He started calling me “young swift” and eventually I shortened it to “swift” and that’s the way it’s always been,” he said.

It’s a fitting nickname.

He’s swift with his feet, his punches and swift with his words. He spills his feelings, like he fights, fearlessly.

“I feel like I’m the complete package. A lot of fighters out there are one dimensional,” said Garcia. “I have the speed, the power, the style. I knock people out and that’s what the fans like.”

Garcia will be fighting this Friday as the televised main event on Telefutura’s “Solo Boxeo” from the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.

His opponent, John Figueroa, went the distance against two of boxing’s hottest young prospects in Carlos Molina and Luis Ramos. If Garcia is to impress, he must get the early stoppage. According to “Swift”, a knockout is virtually assured.

“I want to tell the fans that they should watch and support me,” he said. “My last three fights I got all knockouts and I’m looking forward to giving the fans a great show. If they want to see knockouts keep watching and following Danny Garcia.”

On the web:
Danny “Swift” Garcia vs. Mike Arnaoutis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBnQO_VWYzE

You can email the author at ralphgonzalez@cox.net

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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