The unbeaten WBC and WBA light welterweight super champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia takes on IBF champion Lamont Peterson in an all American clash at a catch-weight of 143lbs at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City on April 11th.
Both fighters and the sanctioning organisations have come under some criticism from the boxing world for allowing the two 140lb champions to fight without putting their respective titles on the line for this showdown. By fighting at a heavier weight of 143lbs the loser will still retain their status as a world champion but many argue that it will effectively devalue the belt that they possess.
Since being stopped by the Argentine big hitter Lucas Matthysse in round three of a scheduled twelve, Peterson has rebuilt by claiming the IBF title against relatively unknown Canadian fighter Dierry Jean in his home city of Washington D.C. and successfully defended it against Edgar Santana winning via a tenth round TKO last August. Both fighters haven’t fought since last August when they appeared on the same bill at the Barclays Center in New York.
Matthysse is a fighter that both men have faced with very different outcomes. Knockout merchant Matthysse blasted Peterson out within three rounds in devastating style but came undone against the still unbeaten Garcia who handed the Argentine his first career loss and even knocked him down in the 11th round.
Danny Garcia relishes the tag of the underdog. It seems as though Danny Garcia fights at his very best when he is up against the odds however he goes into this fight as the favourite to win. Against Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse he triumphed in emphatic fashion when he was expected to lose on both occasions against men that few fighters were keen to jump in the ring with at the time.
When he has been favourite though, he has struggled to shine to the same degree. Against Mauricio Hererra in his native Bayamon, Puerto Rico, he got perhaps more than he bargained for but ultimately came through the contest to get the win. He has been accused unfairly by some of taking easy fights in his last couple of outings including his last win against the overmatched Rod Salka who he stopped as early as round two.
Another opponent that both fighters have also faced and beaten is Britain’s Amir Khan although Garcia beat Khan in far more convincing style than Peterson who was involved in a very controversial fight winning via split decision in his hometown before testing positive for high testosterone. Authorities subsequently deemed it had not improved his performance.
Garcia, from Philadelphia, is an excellent counter puncher with immaculate timing and knockout power. He has a killer left hook and is one of the strongest and most compact fighters in the division. Now that he has established himself as the best fighter in the 140lb division the pressure will be on. However he seem to be the sort of character that thrives under pressure and it is very hard to bet against him against any 140 pounder bearing in mind his accomplishments so far.
Lamont Peterson is a serious contender though and cannot be overlooked. He will need to establish his jab early on and use his slight height and reach advantages to keep Garcia at long range. Being over aggressive against Garcia could cost him as Garcia has the timing and power to take him out. He will perhaps fair better if he adopts a more cautious approach, lets Garcia on the front foot and tries to counter shots himself.