NEW YORK – Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y. on Saturday August 8, light welterweight champion Danny Garcia (28-0, 16 KO's) takes on Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KO's) who comes in as a huge underdog climbing up from the 135 pound weight class to 140 pounds. This is a 10-round non-title main event of a tripleheader put on by Showtime at 9 p.m. ET.
The Puerto Rican descent Philadelphia-born Garcia is coming off a very controversial 12-round decision win over light welterweight Mauricio Herrera (21-4, 7 KO's) with his WBC, WBA (Super) & The Ring light welterweight title belts all at stake. Herrera came into that bout as an enormous underdog, but gave the younger Garcia all he could handle—and then some.
That were just a few months ago in March of this year. It was that fight against Herrera that Garcia found himself in one of the toughest battles of his career. And this opponent too was considered a no name who many in the sport had never heard of. Herrera showed up with a brilliant fight plan and nearly derailed Garcia from all of his future fame and fortune.
The decision was highly disputed by many members of the boxing world who scored the bout in favor of Herrera, including Showtime Championship Boxing broadcasting team.
It was a little over a year ago, that Garcia was challenged in the later rounds by older former light welterweight champion Zab Judah (42-9, 29 KO's) in a fight that he were clearly winning in the earlier rounds on all score cards.
Even suffering from a bad cut under the left eye from the earlier rounds, Judah was able to rally back in the later rounds to give Garcia major problems. Garcia won by unanimous decision, but said by far that Judah was the toughest fighter he had ever fought.
Many fight fans and pundits are displeased with Garcia’s choice of fighting Salka during this time in his career and some have disclosed great frustration, including ESPN's commentator Teddy Atlas. Anyone who knows Teddy, know how outspoken he can be, especially when it comes to disagreements regarding boxing.
He blames Golden Boy Promotions for putting on this fight. During an interview on ESPN's Friday Night Fights last month, Teddy explained why he felt this fight was not worth public viewing.
He said, "Garcia should at least be fighting Top 10 fighters. He went on to say, Salka is not even ranked in the Top 15. This is pure garbage, he said without saying the harsher word he had in mind." Teddy was outraged with this idea.
It's no secret that Garcia has beaten some formidable opponents in his career, such as: Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Eric Morales twice, Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse. He has retained all of his title belts 5-times, but will not be jeopardized to lose any of them in this next bout.
He said, "He always fights the opponents chosen by his manager and advisor Al Haymon. Then, said he has never had a reason to question his manager in any of his selections. He does the managing and I do the fighting, said Garcia."
Garcia has always been known for his great counter-punching skills along with devastating power and a granite chin. He can change a fight with one punch. He is now 26-years-old and approaching his prime.
Even though he comes into Saturday night fight as a huge favorite, there is still immense pressure surrounding him like no other time before. Danny Garcia needs to win this fight in superb fashion to erase all doubt in the minds of those who questioned his last win. An early round knockout will do him just fine.
As for his opponent Rod Salka, there is no pressure riding on him going into this fight. He has already been written off as a tomato can by most of the boxing world. That alone should serve as pure motivation for the seasoned Pennsylvania native.
An upset victory for him would definitely put his name on the map and possibly add him alongside some his elite colleagues in the top ranking list.
The other two matchups fighting on this same card will be light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KO's) vs. Edgar Santana (29-4, 20 KO's) for his IBF title belt and Daniel Jacobs (27-1, 24 KO's) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10 KO's) for the vacant middleweight WBA title.