Undefeated Philadelphia fighter Danny Garcia made his debut at welterweight last night in his “home away from home” at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, just a short drive away from the city of brotherly love. Garcia scored the TKO win against veteran and Brooklyn native Paulie Malignaggi.
While Paulie hadn’t fought in over a year, he expressed confidence in his training camp that he hadn’t prepared this well for a fight in a long time and was ready to go. Combine that with how many vulnerabilities that have been exposed by Garcia’s last three opponents and we were expecting a competitive fight.
Garcia wasn’t landing many punches early on and seemed to be looking for the big one most of the night. By round 6 you could see Paulie was breaking down as Garcia had landed some power shots while Paulie also had a cut over his left eye. He would later get a cut on his right cheek as well. Paulie has been pretty familiar with cuts in his career so this wouldn’t be anything new for him. Unfortunately he was again facing a younger, stronger fighter and the ref called for a stoppage in the 9th round.
For Paulie this is probably the end of a long career. For Garcia this could be a new beginning; even though he’s undefeated, critics including No Sparring thought he lost his last fight against Lamont Peterson as well as the fight against Mauricio Herrera while avoiding deserving opponents and taking on the likes of Rod Salka.
Danny Garcia has a lot of options in the crowded welterweight division and his manager Al Haymon has a stable of guys who need some tough opponents. Names like Amir Khan and Keith Thurman instantly come to mind.
Whoever’s next, they’ll face a seemingly rejuvenated Danny Garcia who’s got some of his swagger back and for the moment silenced critics who want to see whether or not he can get the same results against better rated competition.