SAN DIEGO, August 1, 2015 – Danny “Swift” Garcia made a successful debut in his first fight at welterweight on paper, winning a ninth round TKO over Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
It wasn’t showstopping, it wasn’t impressive, but at least the outcome was not in question like Garcia’s recent fights against Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. made a good decision stopping the fight, as Malignaggi simply didn’t have a lot left to offer, and was taking unnecessary damage despite staying on his feet.
The stoppage was a good call; Malignaggi’s corner later said his team was thinking about stopping the fight themselves.
The fight was less about Garcia’s skills than Malignaggi’s lack of them. Malignaggi started off tentative, and could never muster up enough activity to do any damage. Garcia was patient, counterpunching and taking his time, adding round after round to the scorecard.
Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) opened a cut over Malignaggi’s (33-7-0, 7 KOs) right eye in the third round. His corner did a good job stemming it as long as they could, but it began to trickle down his face. In the sixth round, Malignaggi slipped, and the end was in sight for him. By the eighth round, Garcia had no fear of anything Malignaggi could offer, and began to move in and throw in earnest.
After the stoppage, Garcia and Malignaggi embraced. It was Malignaggi’s final moments in the ring as a professional boxer. Danny raised Paulie’s hand and walked him around the ring to accept the applause and respect of his hometown Brooklyn fans.
After the bout, Garcia told ESPN’s Bernard Osuna, “My dad, he just wanted me in my first fight at 147 to be sharp, throw more punches ….I felt a lot stronger, in the ninth round I kept coming, I felt like round one. Overall we came here and executed the game plan.”
Malignaggi said he was trying to dictate the pace, because he didn’t want Garcia to land a big shot early and gain confidence from it. But “Danny was walking me down with jabs. When he cut me, it gave him some confidence,” said Malignaggi.
“Little by little he broke me down. I have no qualms with the stoppage. I wanted to see if I could finish, have a moral victory,” said Malignaggi. He again expressed his respect for the referee’s decision and for his opponent in the post-fight news conference. Malignaggi was in good spirits and generous in his remarks, but he stopped just short of making an absolute declaration whether it was his final fight.
“I’ve got a really good job commentating. I love being ringside. I hope to sit at ringside for a long time. I felt if I didn’t come up with a big performance tonight, it would be my last fight.
“You hate to make an emotional decision. My career started in Brooklyn 14 years ago. If I end it tonight at home, if this is my last performance, I’m happy to do it in front of you guys,” said Malignaggi.
Some fans wonder why Malignaggi got back in the ring at age 34 after 16 months away, after a crushing loss against Shawn Porter. This is why: unlike many fighters, Malignaggi will end his career inside the ring without any doubts in his mind. The fight had great value for him and for his fans for the closure it provided. Now he can return to his job ringside, a job he does extremely well. Both Malignaggi and the many fans who enjoy his commentary are winners and he leaves wearing their respect instead of a belt.
Middleweight Daniel Jacobs (30-1, 27 KOs) made quick work of Sergio Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs), getting a second round TKO win. Jacobs and Mora put on a rousing first round, with Jacobs scoring an early knockdow of Mora. Jacobs got a bit too excited about finishing him off, dropped his guard and promptly found himself dropped by Mora.
Things were shaping up for a barnburner when Jacobs put Mora down again, and as he fell Mora badly twisted his right leg under him. It was obvious he was in pain, and the first was stopped just five seconds shy of finishing round two. Mora said he heard something pop in his knee, and said he thought his ankle was broken. Before Mora was led out on a stretcher, he said, “When I knocked him (Jacobs) down, my confidence went through the roof. I want a rematch.”
Jacobs said “I guess I was careless, I went in with my hands down. When I saw him down, I wanted to go in and stop him.”
Jacobs dismissed a rematch, saying he didn’t want to go backwards. Instead, he floated the idea of a Brooklyn vs. Brooklyn match-up. “I think you Brooklynites deserve something special like Kid Chocolate,” referring to middleweight Peter Quillin. “Let’s do it.”
It’s a match-up worth seeing, but Mora deserves another chance. He made inroads against Jacobs, and the fans would like to see how it would go down without an injury stoppage.
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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