On The Inside: Swift vs. The Ghost

147 is stacked with talented champions, contenders, and prospects all looking to distinguish themselves as the top dog now that Mayweather retired. At the top of the pyramid is Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia, an undefeated newcomer to the division with no ceiling. Looking to make his way back to the top is Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero, a southpaw boxer turned banger looking for a big signature win.

 

The Ghost:

Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero had his hands full in his last three bouts and touched the canvas in his last two against Aaron Martinez and Keith Thurman. Although Guerrero defeated Martinez via split decision, it was one of the toughest fights of his career.

It was also one of the more controversial due to the scorecard of judge Jerry Cantu who had the fight 97-92 in favor of Guerrero. For a fight with seesawing action that seemed to lean heavily in the favor of Martinez for long stretches, that’s a wide margin. Guerrero was outworked the majority of the night, physically drained the second half of the fight, and absent mentally for its entirety.

Having said that, distractions were an integral part of the fight narrative. During training camp and just weeks before the Martinez fight, Guerrero’s grandmother and cousin passed away. His cousin’s funeral was the day of the weigh-in. Had Martinez won the fight, it’s likely he would be facing Garcia instead of fighting on his undercard.

Guerrero’s fight against Thurman wasn’t as competitive. Although the speed of Thurman gave Guerrero trouble, he was able to land some big shots countering the wide punches Thurman has a habit of throwing. He lost the fight but he won over a lot of fans who like to see guys take a punch to land one.

In 2014 Guerrero went to war with Yoshihiro Kamegai in an all action fight nominated for Fight of the Year. Guerrero, who is eager to please fans nowadays, slugged for 12 rounds against Kamegai in an invisible broom closet.

 

Swift:

Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia made his debut at 147 in his last fight against Paulie Malignaggi. A great showcase fight for Garcia against a veteran fighter who is normally hard to hit. The one-sided round nine TKO victory for Garcia came on the heels of a somewhat controversial victory over Lamont Peterson four months prior.

Peterson, a master of infighting, put on a boxing clinic in the second half of the fight by slipping Garcia’s punches and landing left hooks and overhand rights. However, Peterson spent the first half on his bicycle and needlessly gave away a majority of the early rounds.

Although Garcia’s face looked battered after the final bell, he won a hard-earned contentious decision. The fight before Peterson was also controversial, but for an entirely different reason. Garcia, the junior welterweight no longer capable of making 140, won by KO in a 142lb catchweight bout against Rod Salka, an undersized lightweight who moved up to fight Garcia.

On TV the difference in size between the two fighters was jarring and the way Garcia flattened Salka, it was obvious Salka had no business trying to fight Garcia. Actually, it wasn’t really a fight. A fight would imply some sort of struggle and an exchange of blows. That night, during the Swift show, Salka’s head played the role of a speed bag and he never hit back.

 

Assessment:

When Guerrero and Garcia meet it will be all action from the opening bell as neither fighter likes to use their legs, move their head, or go backwards. Garcia has only faced one southpaw in the past six years but don’t expect Guerrero’s unorthodox style to give him too much trouble. Lately, The Ghost hasn’t been too hard to find and Garcia shouldn’t have a problem landing his big left hook. However, If Guerrero goes back to boxing like he used to do before he moved up to 147, he has a chance to take Garcia’s 0.