With his win over Morales, Danny Garcia becomes Philadelphia’s 33rd World Champion

Danny Garcia makes Philly proud as the City of Brotherly Love adds him to their long list of World Boxing Champions. If we were to include Rocky Balboa, that would make Garcia number 34. 

With his arm around his father, Angel Garcia, Danny Garcia, the new WBC World Junior Welterweight Champion gets choked up while answering the questions from HBO Sports color analyst Max Kellerman (r). Photos from HBO Sports.

As far as dates in boxing history go, Saturday, March 24, 2012, is significant on two counts. It marks the night Danny “Swift” Garcia, the latest in a long line of Philadelphia Boxinggreats laid claimed to a world title, and second,


it established once and for all that Erik Morales, the boxing legend, should finally hang up the gloves.

At Friday’s weighin for Saturday’s match at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas, Morales weighed 142 pounds, two pounds over the super lightweight limit. Some people claimed he never even tried to make the weight, and had a cavalier attitude about the defense of his title which gave the impression he no longer has the passion. At 35 years of age, the mind tells you one thing while the body might be telling you something else.

Saturday, March 24, 2012, at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas, Danny “Swift” Garcia of Philadelphia is shown landing a straight left on the chin of Erik Morales of San Ysidro, CA.

On Saturday, Morales of San Ysidro, CA by way of Tijuana, B.C. lost his WBC Junior Welterweight title by an unanimous decision to a man 11 and a half years his junior.

Four days after celebrating his 24th birthday, Garcia proved he was in better condition, and that was the biggest factor in the fight. Garcia won on all cards, 116-111, 117-110, and 118-109. Out of respect for Morales, Garcia started off slow but then came on in the later rounds, when the elder fighter began to wilt under the pressure of the solid lefts to the midsection.

In this February 25, 2011 file photo, we see Danny Perez (C) joined by his father, Angel Perez (L) and famed cutman Rafael Garcia (R) after Garcia defeated John Figueroa at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, CA. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Fighting with a bloodied face, Garcia kept upping the tempo until he was in control. He landed the better combinations and of course had more power behind his punches. In the 11th round Garcia caught Morales with a heavy shot, a solid left hook, that sent Morales to the canvas.

As they announced the scores, it was a very emotional moment for Garcia, who broke down in tears while in the clutches of his dad (and coach).

Make no mistake, Garcia had to earn this victory and Morales fought hard. Hard enough to bust up Garcia’s face with his sneaky jab and solid rights. Speed was clearly in Garcia’s favor while Morales was masterful at times and laid his traps. In the rounds when Garcia’s work-rate went up, Morales found himself with his back to the ropes.

With the win, Garcia remains undefeated at 23-0 while Morales is now 52-8 after 60 fights. Prior to this fight, Garcia mentioned that he has plans to lobby Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer about staging a defense of his title in the Philadelphia area.

“I think it would be really something to fight as a world champion before my family and friends,” said Garcia. “Maybe I’m not as wellknown at home as some other guys, but that’s about to change. They’re going to know me soon because I will be the world champion.”

With the win, Garcia becomes the 33rd World Boxing Champion from Philadelphia. He can now make some really big money by facing all the star attractions in a division that’s loaded with talent. You have Lamont Peterson, Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Vernon Paris, Mike Alvardo, Lucas Martin Matthysse, Jessie Vargas, Joan Guzman, Serhiy Fedchenko and Ruslan Provodnikov just to name a few.

Questioned later about Garcia’s opportunities in such a difficult division, Morales said, “He’s a good fighter, not a great fighter. It looks like tonight my age caught up with me.”

On the Undercard, super welterweight Chris “Toro” Chatman (10-1-1, 5 KOs) of City Boxing in San Diego’s Downtown got caught by a surprise overhand right from the hometown favorite Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (16-0, 7 KOs) of Houston, Texas.

In both rounds one and two, Chatman, a lefty, went hard to the body with the lefthand power shots. While Chatman keyed on the midsection, Charlo went to the head and being four inches taller seemed to have more success.

As things intensified in the third round, Chatman found himself backed up against the ropes. That’s when Charlo landed his big right hand to send Chatman straight back with his head hitting the canvas. As referee Gary Simons began the 10 count, Chatman struggled but he did reach his feet at the count of eight. After Simons looked at his eyes, he decided Chatman had had enough and waived off the bout at 1:22 of the third round.

For “Iron Man” Charlo, that was his 17 straight win without a defeat. For Chatman, that’s just his second loss. The first loss, a six round unanimous decision, came against Demetrius Andrade (16-0) the former Olympian in his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island back on October 3, 2009.

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