Danny “Swift” Garcia returns to the squared circle in an attempt to become a three-division world champion when he makes his junior middleweight debut versus Jose Benavidez Jr. on Saturday, July 30. The Showtime event will be live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and will provide a tripleheader of thrilling bouts.
The Showtime Championship Boxing event will also host Adam Kownacki versus Ali Eren Demirezen in an anticipated heavyweight clash, and the unbeaten up-and-comer Gary Antuanne Russell will meet the two-division champion, Rances Barthelemy.
Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs)
As a two-division champion at 140 and 147lbs, Garcia is now on the hunt for a piece of gold at 154lbs to further extend his already impressive career accolades. In his return to the Barclays Center for the ninth time, he’ll be all too familiar with the surroundings where he made his Showtime debut ten years ago.
The Philadelphia native ran through the super lightweight division, taking out a plethora of champions along the way. Erik Morales, Lucas Matthysse, Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, and Zab Judah all fell victim to the sleek boxing skills of Garcia.
During his run at welterweight, Garcia triumphed Paulie Malignaggi, Lamont Peterson, and a championship-winning bout versus Robert Guerrero in 2016. Despite losing three contests at 147lbs, these defeats were close contests with some of the world’s elite in Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and the current undefeated unified champ Errol Spence Jr.
“I feel blessed,” Garcia commented. “I’m back like I never left. I can’t wait to return to the ring in front of the fans at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, who have always supported me, and for all my fans across the country watching on SHOWTIME. The ‘Danny Garcia Sh
ow’ returns July 30, and you don’t want to miss it!”
Jose Benavidez (27-1-1, 18 KOs)
30-year-old Benavidez shifted his efforts up to the super welterweight division following his 147lb championship meeting with Terence Crawford in October 2018. Unable to overcome the champ, the younger brother of unbeaten two-time world champion David Benavidez is now taking his chances at 154lbs.
Born in California but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Benavidez has long been a fan favorite of Southwestern fight fans. With a mere one loss on his record, he’s also been a favorable choice at the sportsbook window.
BetMGM Arizona will undoubtedly receive a wealth of action on Benavidez for his upcoming clash with Garcia. Although the level of competition favors his opponent, the oddsmakers cannot ignore the Arizona native’s impressive record to date.
Benavidez last fought in November 2021, a contest that ended in a draw when he met with Francisco Emanuel Torres. However, this was his first fight in over three years. He’d notably defeated top contenders such as Mauricio Herrera, Francisco Santana, and Frank Rojas during his path to the world title opportunity versus Crawford.
“This is a Mexico vs. Puerto Rico matchup, and both of us have something to prove,” Benavidez said. “It’s going to be a great fight for the fans. I feel strong and know I will end this one on fight night. I’m bigger and stronger than he is, and come July 30; he will see the difference in power between us.”
Garcia vs. Benavidez
After 16 months on the sidelines, Garcia needs to put in a lot of work should he want to reclaim the elite-level status he once owned at 140 and 147lbs. Whilst many critics believe Benavidez will be a straightforward victory for Garcia, he will be the smaller fighter with a lot of ring rust to shake off.
Whilst Benavidez is echoing confidence in his size and potential power advantage; those aren’t the only attributes that succeed in a 12-round boxing matchup. Can Benavidez match the cardio and overall technical output that Garcia has delivered in the past? In addition, experience is crucial, and the level of competition that Garcia has faced far exceeds that of Benavidez, despite being in lower weight classes.
I’d expect Garcia to overwhelm Benavidez through his movement and shot selection, but with such a significant layoff, who knows? Then again, the last time we saw Benavidez compete, it was an utterly lacklustre outing versus a competitor who doesn’t come close to the skillset of Garcia.