Danny Garcia in full training mode.

Danny Garcia was once considered one of the best rising prospects in the sport of boxing. The Philadelphia fighter had all the tools—a great jab, power in both hands and a fan-friendly style.

His first test came in October of 2011, when he faced the hard-hitting and battle-tested Kendall Holt. On that night, Garcia would show the world he had the skills to compete at a high level.

After defeating Holt, the then undefeated contender won a hard-fought unanimous decision against Mexican legend Erik Morales to win a portion of the junior-welterweight title. Garcia would follow that up with title defenses against the likes of Amir Khan, Erik Morales in a rematch, and Zab Judah.

However, it was not until the night of September 14, 2013, when he would face his biggest challenge, this against junior-welterweight belt-holder Lucas Matthysse. The big-punching Argentinian was considered by many, to not only be Garcia’s toughest fight, but also be the biggest threat to his undefeated record. It would be the jab, movement and overall boxing skill, along with a granite chin, that would prove all the critics wrong. The Puerto Rican fighter would score a knockdown enroute to an easy unanimous decision, making Garcia the Undisputed Junior-Welterweight Champion.

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Since winning the biggest fight of his young career, the 29-year-old has lost a ton of credibility. Garcia would go on to escape with a majority decision victory over the little-known Mauricio Herrera in Puerto Rico, before knocking out the overmatched Rod Salka. Garcia would then follow-up with a lackluster performance against the tough and rugged Lamont Peterson.

Garcia, who has a current record of 33-1 with 19 KO’s, would not make things any better of himself, as he would move up to a talent-filled welterweight division to defeat two good, but over-the-hill fighters in Paulie Malignaggi and Robert Guerrero.

Finally, after a combination of less-than-stellar performances, along with questionable matchmaking, Garcia would sign to fight welterweight titleholder Keith “One Time” Thurman. While Garcia did have his moments, it was the lateral movement and boxing skills of Thurman that would end the undefeated streak of Garcia.

Danny Garcia is criticized for how his career has gone since beating Matthysse. But the truth is he is very talented and can be a major player in what some might consider to be the most talented division in boxing, the welterweight division. The former champion has underrated boxing ability along with a proven chin and good power. He just needs to learn from his mistakes and continue to prove he can compete with the best in the world.

While I don’t know what has caused Garcia to take this route for his career, I do know that he is not helping his situation any, as he recently signed to fight the tough, but hittable Brandon Rios. That fight is scheduled for February 17th in Las Vegas.

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