The 30-year-old Philadelphian of Puerto Rican extraction has sizzled many times throughout his 34-1, three-time, two-weight World Championship career.
As his BoxNation-screened collision with ‘Showtime Shawn’ Porter looms this weekend, Glynn Evans picks the five nights when ‘Swift’ was at his sharpest.
1. Amir Khan, Las Vegas, July 2012
Though Garcia had acquired the vacant WBC Super-Lightweight Title by outscoring the aging and overweight ghost of Mexican great Erik Morales four months previously, it was this explosive demolition of WBA counterpart ‘King’ Khan live on HBO that elevated ‘Swift’ to elite status.
Amir entered as a 7-1 favourite but, mercilessly goaded by Garcia’s truculent father Angel throughout the build-up, the Englishman diverted from coach Freddie Roach’s cautious game plan to wage war with the Rican…and was left to rue the consequences!
Though outsped over the opening two and a half frames, the bull gored the matador with a lethal left hook to the neck, sending Khan south late in the third.
Khan rose but never recovered, tumbling twice more in round four as Garcia crashed his way into the seven-figure purse bracket.
2. Erik Morales II, New York, October 2012
[Credit: Yahoo News Singapore]
Three months later, the Phillie based phenom re-endorsed the power of his potent left hook in this inaugural promotion at the state-of-the-art Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Dynamite Danny confessed he’d accorded the four-weight World Champion and future Hall-of-Famer far too much respect in their initial spat seven months earlier but he wasted no time enforcing his supremacy in this replay.
In the build-up, the Mexican twice tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol but was disturbingly allowed to compete after trotting out the well-worn ‘contaminated meat’ chestnut.
Retribution was painfully administered by Garcia in round four when a TNT laced left hook spun Morales 180* and left him in a crumpled heap. The count was a formality.
3. Zab Judah, New York, April 2013
Garcia returned to the Brooklyn venue to make a second defence of his unified 10st belts against Big Apple homie Zab Judah, a six-time, two weight world champion buoyed by a hostile gathering of 13,048.
With Showtime cameras rolling, the Pennsylvanian Puerto Rican bossed the early rounds with some brutal body work, zapping Zab to the floor in round eight.
But murmurs that the muscular 5ft 8 ½in champion was outgrowing the division started to surface after he faded down the home straight, permitting Judah to sweep the final three rounds on all cards.
Both were badly gashed after heads bumped in the final session but Garcia’s quality early work was instrumental in him triumphing on all three cards.
4. Lucas Matthysse, Las Vegas, September 2013
Odd setters installed Garcia as a 2-1 outsider when he agreed to condense his compact frame down to 140lbs again for a fling against the combustible fists of 34-2 (32) Argentine assassin Lucas Matthysse in front of 16,000 at the MGM Grand.
But the ‘Swift’ one responded with the most complete performance of his career, showing hitherto unseen skills and composure, and emphatically answering concerns about the sturdiness of his jaw.
After flailing at fresh air for 10 rounds, the fearsome Argentinean was dumped on the mat for the first time in his nine-year career in round 11 and departed for a nearby hospital with a closed eye and damaged jaw, shortly after Garcia was announced a clear and unanimous victor.
5. Robert Guerrero, Los Angeles, January 2016
Having abdicated the 140lb throne as undefeated champion, victories over world grade welters Lamont Peterson (pts12) and Paulie Malinaggi (tko9) left Garcia primely placed to contest the WBC 147lb crown left vacant by the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
A pro Mexican crowd of 12, 052 gave him the bird throughout but Garcia maintained focus and ultimately proved two strong and classy for ‘Ghost’ Guerrero, himself a two-weight world titlist, and one of 11 Danny has scalped during the course of his 34-1 (20) career.
After 12 combative rounds, the judges unanimously sided with the Puerto Rican and Garcia had a third world title belt for his mantlepiece.
Buy BoxNation to watch Danny Garcia v Shawn Porter on September 8th.