Saturday, March 15, Danny Garcia (28-0) defeated Mauricio Herrera (20-4) in defense of his WBA and WBC light welterweight titles. The bout was held at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and televised on Showtime.
Notably, the bout signified the first time that Garcia was able to fight in Puerto Rico, which is where both his parents were born before moving to Philadelphia. Thus, many questioned how the Puerto Rican fight community would respond to Garcia's presence as he was born in Philadelphia, PA.
Positively, with the ticket sales and overall sentiment of the crowd, Garcia received a strong reception an is expected to return in the future to fight once again in Puerto Rico.
On the other hand, Garcia put on an unimpressive performance in which many felt that Herrera should have been granted the decision victory. Even more, many felt the scores were two wide as two of the judges had the fight scored 116-112 in favor of Garcia with one having it a draw at 114-114.
Strategically, Herrera used a lot of jabs and an awkward style that didn't allow Garcia to effectively use his conventional form of boxing.
Richard Schaefer, Chief Executive of Golden Boy Promotions and Garcia's promoter, stated
"When you are one of the best fighters in the world, which Danny clearly is, you have a big target on your back. When you fight somebody like Herrera after you've fought fighters like Amir Khan, Matthysse, Morales, guys with big names, maybe you take it a little step slower in the training. It's normal and the results are what they are. But I believe Danny won."
"I think Danny was looking for that big punch too much because he wanted to knock out Herrera and make a statement in Puerto Rico, and that is not the Danny we usually see. He had all the pressure on him fighting in Puerto Rico. It was a dream, for him and he was looking for the knockout."
Interestingly, Garcia went on to state that he will likely be looking to move up to the welterweight division after this fight. He suggested that it has gotten a bit difficult to make the light welterweight limit at 140 pounds due to the fact that he has fought in the division for eight years.
As a result, Garcia may be looking to vacate his current titles and make a move towards a mega fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at 147 pounds. It is no secret that Garcia has been mentioned in the Mayweather sweepstakes and is certainly worthy of such talk due to the competition he has defeated up to this point in his career.
In the end, Garcia took part in one of the toughest fights of his career due to a great performance by Herrera. Herrera came to take Garcia's titles and fell short of the scorecards, but will likely be given another opportunity with the championship caliber he showed on Saturday night. Garcia's move to fight in Puerto Rico was a success and may lead to more of his fights being held there as an enormous market lies within the Puerto Rican community. It should be interesting to depict what Garcia's team, Golden Boy and Al Haymon, have in mind for his potential move for a welterweight title.