Boxing dog days of summer: Garcia vs. Salka, Showtime 9 p.m. ET
SAN DIEGO, August 8, 2014 – In ancient Rome, the hottest days of the summer were blamed on Sirius, the Dog Star. For 40 days from late July through August, it was a treacherous time when illness raged, dogs went mad, wine went bad, and the seas boiled from the heat.
Today we still consider the dog days a time when everyone is feeling a little out of sorts and beat by the heat.
Saturday night’s card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn seems to fit the theme with two champions fighting massive underdogs, generating minimal enthusiasm from fans. The main event and two undercards will air on Showtime starting at 9 p.m. ET.
Danny “Swift” Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) of Philadelphia doesn’t even have his lightweight title on the line. He fights “Lightning” Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs), also a Pennsylvania native who isn’t even consider a top 50 contender. The 10-round contest is such a weak matchup, the WBA and WBC wouldn’t approve Salka as a sanctioned challenger. When is the last time you read that?
Garcia barely escaped what was supposed to be a victory lap in Puerto Rico against Mauricio Herrera. Many thought Herrera won that decision; count me as one of them. Garcia was expected to win handily, then face Lamont Peterson of Washington D.C.
Instead, Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KOs) is fighting on the undercard against Edgar Santana (29-4, 20 KOs) of Puerto Rico. At least Peterson is actually defending his title belt in this bout, though the matchup with the 35 year old Santana isn’t generating any enthusiasm either.
Assuming both Garcia and Peterson win handily, they should fight each other later in the year. Both need good solid performances against lackluster competition to avoid tough questions. Anything less than stoppages will see a lot of eyebrows raised about these two.
The better fight of the evening is the first of the televised undercards. Native son Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn (27-1, 24 KOs) will fight for a lesser middleweight belt against Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs) of Australia.
Just walking into the ring at the Barclays Center is a victory for Jacobs. In 2009 he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. The odds of his survival weren’t in his favor much less ever returning to boxing. Not only has Jacobs returned, he has gained focus and perspective, coming back stronger than ever. It will be a moment to savor when the opening bell sounds for Jacobs in Brooklyn. Let’s hope Fletcher shows himself as a worthy opponent. Australians haven’t fared too well the last few weeks (see Geale, Daniel; Caparello, Brook).
Jacobs tells his story in the video feature below:
Friday boxing briefs: Boxing fans fortunate enough to catch the Iron Mike Productions event on Fox Sports 1 from Pittsburgh Friday night were treated to three outstanding fights including two Fight of the Year candidates and Round of the Year nominees.
Hometown fans were thrilled to see great performances and victories from local fighters. Sammy “The Who Can Mexican” Vasquez won a ninth round TKO in a tough test against James Stevenson to remain undefeated at (16-0, 12 KOs). Stevenson gave Vasquez everything he could handle. The pair traded punches from all directions. Just when it seemed Vasquez had it, Stevenson would roar back.
It followed a fan friendly Fight of the Year candidate between Pittsburgh favorite Monty Meza Clay (36-3, 22 KOs) who won a tenth round TKO over Alan Herrera (32-7, 21 KOs). This pair traded some of the hardest punches seen all year. Herrera was down in the sixth round, but got up and rocked Meza Clay in the next round. The fans loved every minute of it, and so did an elated Tyson commenting from ringside. No one wanted to see the fight stopped with just a minute left, but it was the right decision as Herrera had taken too much punishment. Try to find this one on YouTube, it’s worth the search.
The first televised fight lasted only 30 seconds. Ukrainian Ievgen Khytrov (6-0, 6 KOs) is picking up where his successful amateur career left out, scoring a knockout against Willie Fortune (17-2, 8 KO). Khytrov is a 25-year-old middleweight who looks like another Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin in the making.
Tyson says his goal as a promoter is to present up and coming boxers in competitive matchups, and he more than delivered.
FRIDAY FIGHT FLASHBACK: Friday was the 22nd anniversary of Oscar De La Hoya’s gold medal victory at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.
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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