Danny “Swift” Garcia was probably in trouble when he showed up in shoes that were glowing in the dark of the ring’s bright lights. Shortly before the very questionable verdict was announced at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, Garcia appeared to embraced his embattled for Lamont Peterson and utter the words “I lost”.
But what isn’t, is that he didn’t win any new fans in his quest for superstar status, as the IBF super lightweight champion Peterson (33-3-1, 17 KO’s) vexed, perplexed and tested him greatly before dropping a majority decision. “Swift”, the WBA/WBC super lightweight champion (30-0, 17 KO’s), was quick to warn Peterson that he was “coming to my house”, who never-the-less made himself right at home before a sold out arena. The outcome may have come as a surprise, but to the initiated in the sport this was certainly to be expected.
If anything, Peterson proved definitively that the oft used expression “styles make fights”is the among the truest axioms in all of sports. Eviscerated by Lucas Matthysse (who faces a monster in Ruslan Provodnikov next week), Peterson sprinted around Garcia while mooning him in the process. Then, inexplicably and unexpectedly, he took off the track shoes, opting to instead run up and down on “Swift” like he was bleachers in the rain. The only one all wet after it was over was Garcia, leaving Peterson soaked in defeat.
“At the end of the day, I would love to have a rematch… He knows who won the fight,” revealed a relaxed Peterson in his dressing room shortly after the contest.
Garcia didn’t seem in the mood for that prospect at all. After devouring creme cake Rod Salka at 142, 143 didn’t seem to do him any favors at 143 against Peterson and he needs to get his identity in order.
His father, Angel, feels Garcia should just remain in the division that made him. “He’s the champion at 140. Then next thing is to defend the title at 140,” opined his father and long-time trainer. “I know he wants to move up but right now he’s the 140 pound champion of the world.”
The consensus going into this fight that made Garcia the prohibitive favorite was his success at a higher pedigree. The Salka-fest non-withstanding, “Swift” owned the likes of Amir Khan, Erik Morales, Zab Judah and the aforementioned Matthysse immediately after his assault on Peterson. It made a lot of sense.
But in retrospect, perhaps it was unwise to discount his desultory showing against Mauricio Herrera as if it was an aberration. Peterson proved it wasn’t, but he did not beat Danny Garcia. For much of the first half of the fight, he was doing a lot more running than fighting against the KO minded and befuddled Garcia. He postured, preened, he played games; his brand of ring generalship was not nearly as compelling as Garcia’s effective aggressiveness from this viewpoint.
Several times throughout the early to mid-round stages of the fight, Garcia implored Peterson to fight, and if I can speak for the rest of NBC TV land we all were FFS. So when Peterson decided to aggressively go after Garcia somewhere around the 9th round in a forceful way, it screamed of “Well what the **** were you waiting for?”.
So dominant was Peterson down the stretch over a fading Garcia, that had the fight been a 15 round affair (as was the case when boxing was all over network TV in the early 80’s) he may have stopped Garcia. But it was a 12 rounder, and for those crying robbery, no one overturned a Brinks truck or kidnapped Peterson’s glory. He did that to himself by choosing to fight for 12 of the 36 minutes.
In reality, “Swift” came through and prevailed while setting his sights on biggest names in the game: Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather “I do think I have to go up in weight because it’s affecting my performance, but feel like I did a great job tonight,” Garcia said via ESPN.com. “I would love to fight one of them [Pacquiao or Mayweather] but I need a couple of fights at 147 first.”
Sounds like Adrien Broner is up next.