Predominant lightweight contender Rod Salka makes a huge leap up on Saturday in New York, not only in weight, but in class against the unified champion at light-welterweight, Danny Garcia.
‘Lightning Rod’ will move up seven pounds to face WBC and WBA 140lb title holder Garcia in what will be a 142lb non-title contest at the Barclays Center and Salka has no problems with the fact that the belts won’t be up for grabs.
“I’m fighting the best fighter at 140 pounds in the world. Titles are what they are, but would I rather fight some guy nobody ever heard of for a title or would I rather fight some guy everybody knows who he is for no title? You know what I mean? Why wouldn’t I want to fight Danny Garcia? He’s the best we’ve got out there,” stated Salka.
“It’s the biggest fight you could possibly get at 140 pounds. I really don’t care if I can put a belt on at the end of it. I can take my purse and go out and have a thousand of those made if I wanted to, what is that?”
Salka was a surprise choice for many as a three-belt unification with IBF champion Lamont Peterson was the preferred choice, although the 31 year-old is grateful for the opportunity to showcase his skills on the big stage.
“I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be fighting Danny Garcia in my next fight,” he said. “Heck, when I was promoting my own shows I didn’t know who I was going to fight in my next fight. It’s just the nature of the beast. You never know. It might be a big fight or I might have been fighting off TV or on another TV network somewhere else. You can’t predict these things in boxing.”
The Pennsylvanian ended the unbeaten run of promising Cuban Alexei Collado in April to get the chance to battle on Showtime, although eyebrows were raised when Salka was plucked out of the lightweight ranks to meet Garcia, who is big at 140 and on the verge of moving up to welterweight.
“I’m happy I did get it, I’m happy that fight (with Collado) went well. I did well and I’m happy to get the opportunity,” pointed out Salka.
” I can (still) make 135, I can make it. I can get down, heck, I can get down to whatever I need to get down to. That’s my job.
“But what’s really a lot more comfortable for me is a hundred and forty pounds, I don’t want to say easy because you’re killing yourself in the gym every day to get ready for the fight and ready for war. But to get down the weight and make sure your body is as fine-tuned as it can be and you’re sacrificing as little as possible to get down and lose weight. I’ve still got to do that to get to 40,” he added.
Garcia vs. Salka, a 10-round welterweight bout on Saturday, August 9, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. In the co-main event, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Dibella Entertainment, IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Lamont Peterson puts his title on the line against Edgar Santana in a 12-round championship bout. Opening the telecast, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Greg Cohen Promotions, Brooklyn’s own Daniel Jacobs takes on Jarrod Fletcher up for the vacant WBA Middleweight World Title. The event will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, will air live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT) and will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).
Tickets priced at $250, $125, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges are available at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling800-745-3000 and at the American Express Box Office. For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK.
Garcia v Salka, Peterson v Santana and Jacobs v Fletcher are live on BoxNation this Saturday night from 2am in the UK, to Subscribe click BoxNation
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