Garcia has some options, but the real question is what path Philadelphia’s most recognized current fighter will take.
Garcia failed in his quest to regain a welterweight title, losing a decision against defending champion Errol Spence Jr. on December 5th. Garcia showed out well, but Spence’s combination of speed and size was too much for Garcia to overcome. He was unable to push the action back into Spence’s face, where he had had noticeable success, and dropped the unanimous decision by scores of 117-111 and two cards of 116-112.
This loss carries much less controversy than title fights against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, also decision losses but ones with loud voices raising displeasure at the scores going against Garcia. Despite that, the fact remains that Garcia has now lost to 3 of the top 5 welterweights in the world, and is now the furthest from a title shot of the “contenders” at 147 pounds. This bears the question, what is next for Danny Garcia?
Moving to 154
Garcia has been adamant about his desire to move to 154 pounds. He’s stated his desire to move up to super-welterweight several times. He’s been mentioning it since 2018. Back in August on the Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer, he said “I would say two (more fights at 147), this one and one more and then I’m going up to 154. My goal is to win three divisions and until that happens, I feel like the Garcia legacy isn’t complete”.
If you believe the talk right from the horse’s mouth then maybe it’s best if he skips that last 147 fight and goes right up now, or maybe grabs a catchweight fight at 150. If Garcia is title-chasing though then he’ll find himself up against some really stiff competition. His WBC theme would have him running into Jermell Charlo, a naturally bigger fighter who owns three titles at the weight.
Another target would be Patrick Teixeira, the WBA champion, who is a surprise champion but again naturally bigger and a southpaw. Maybe Erislandy Lara is the best choice, who despite being a southpaw is only 5’9″ so at least gives Garcia a more even size matchup. Even Lara is dangerous though at 37. He’s also fought guys like Austin Trout, Vanes Martirosyan, Jarret Hurd, and Canelo Alvarez, who he took to a split decision. There are no easy outs at 154.
If he does go to this weight, it is lined with potential big-time matchups, but all ones that would but Garcia at a physical disadvantage. He seems incredibly determined to make the jump though.
Sticking It Out At 147
If he wants, Garcia can become a great boogeyman and gatekeeper in this division. On any given night he’s somewhere between the 4th to 6th best fighter at 147. A young fighter campaigning for a title shot would have a true test in Garcia, one that many would be unable to pass.
In today’s boxing landscape you can have a good and profitable career as a roadblock. Garcia remains a decent draw, has knockout power, and you can reasonably make a case as to why an opposing fighter might be able to beat him. As a co-main event for pay-per-view or a non-title main event, Garcia has another 4-5 years of potential in this kind of role.
If you’re Garcia, you’ve been to the top of the mountain in 2 different divisions and beaten a list of impressive opponents. At 32 years old, with his faculties, a few side businesses, and a projected net worth of $8 million dollars, Garcia could walk away right now.
There is no shame in leaving the sport while you’re that close to the top. A unified champion at 140 and a successful run at 147 that includes a year-long reign as the WBC champ are more than 99% of boxers will have in their career. If Garcia’s focus or desire is less than 100%, then there is no better time to walk away.
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