SAN DIEGO, January 22, 2016 – As wicked winter weather threatens to shut down the East Coast of the United States, it’s the perfect opportunity to settle in and watch the first prime time boxing event on the Fox network in nearly two decades. The main event features welterweights Danny “Swift” Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (33-3-1, 18 KOs) in a Puerto Rico vs. Mexico grudge match for the vacant WBC world welterweight title in Los Angeles.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT with undercard bouts.
Despite being undefeated, Garcia get criticized for fighting pushover opponents and benefiting from gift decisions by judges, particularly his March 2014 bout in Puerto Rico against Mauricio Herrera followed by a questionable decision over Lamont Peterson a year later. It didn’t help when Garcia’s outspoken father and trainer, Angel Garcia, said recently if his son could always face easy opponents, why not?
It is Garcia’s second fight at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. Garcia defeated boxing analyst Paulie Malignaggi in a ninth round TKO last August.
Robert Guerrero is never in a bad fight from a fan’s point of view. His bout against Yoshihiro Kamegui in August 2014 was a legitimate Fight of the Year finalist. Since then he lost a unanimous decision to Keith Thurman in Premiere Boxing’s inaugural event last March, then squeaked out a decision in June over Aron Martinez, a fight many people believed Martinez won. Guerrero was knocked down hard in the third round, but his conditioning saved him and he scored a split decision.
By the numbers, this is a fight Garcia should win. He has the better record and has demonstrated more power. Garcia says the move to welterweight has allowed him to improve his nutrition without worrying about making weight and he is stronger and faster on his feet.
Guerrero hasn’t had a decisive win in several years, and he hasn’t ever been a knockout king. But heart and will cannot be discounted in any boxer, and Guerrero’s heart has never been in doubt. Guerrero has gotten into the ring with Floyd Mayweather and Thurman; he ducks no one.
The “X Factor” for both Garcia and Guerrero in this bout is their respective trainers, who are the fathers of both men. Angel Garcia and Ruben Guerrero are outspoken, unfiltered, and combative. They fiercely protect the honor of their sons and neither hesitates to play the bad guy. As Robert once said about his father, “He always talks s—t and then I have to back it up.”
Ruben Guerrero has been the more aggressive of the two, with Angel dialing it back from his customary mouthing off. At this week’s final news conference, Ruben took it to Angel and while Angel responded, he laughed it off more than he engaged. The fans love it, and if either one loses his cool in the corner during the bout, it will be intriguing to see the effect on their sons in the ring.
At Friday’s weigh-in, both men weighed just under the limit at 146.8 pounds. Sure enough, there was enough verbal combat to get the 400 or so fans in attendance at the weigh-in to enjoy themselves. See the weigh in here.
Once off the scale, Guerrero said, “This is what I do. I came to fight… Tomorrow night I’m showing up to take care of business,” pointing out Garcia’s undefeated record being ruined with a loss.
“This is not new to me, I’ve been here before,”said Garcia. “I’ve done the trash talking before. But at the end of the day, it’s all about what I do tomorrow, and what I do tomorrow, It won’t be pretty … A lot of fighters say ‘I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that.” Garcia is confidently predicting a knockout victory.
Where Premier Boxing and Fox will come out winners is with a super crowd pleasing fight where the outcome isn’t in question. Guerrero is a classic Mexican Style warrior and he prides himself on it. If he can lure Garcia into a brawl instead of a waltz for a national TV audience, it’s good for the sport and much better for him. If Garcia’s footwork and speed is as improved as he asserts it is, he wants to make the fight about technical skills.
In this bout, Garcia can win the fight but risk losing the crowd, so he needs to show balance for their sake and his. Guerrero can’t be reckless, because he’s shown he can be hurt at this stage of his career. Our prediction: a dance goes to Garcia; a brawl goes to Guerrero.
“Premiere Boxing Champions: Garcia vs. Guerrero” airs at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Fox. Ringside Seat will be there live; tweet with us using the #GarciaGuerrero hashtag to @CommDigiNews and @PRProSanDiego
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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