By Ian S Palmer
Unbeaten WBC Welterweight Champion Danny Garcia of Philadelphia will be taking on Samuel Vargas of Colombia in a tune up fight at the Liacouras Center in his hometown this Saturday, November 12th. The 10-round bout is another episode in the Premier Boxing Champions Series (PBC) and fans in North America can catch it live on Spike TV. Garcia won the vacant WBC title the last time out with a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in January. Vargas, who fights out of Canada, was last in the ring back in May when he beat Juan Armando Garcia by a 10-round unanimous decision. This is basically a must-win situation for Garcia since he’s scheduled to meet WBA welterweight king Keith Thurman on March 24th.
The 28-year-old Garcia is a former WBA and WBC Junior Welterweight Champ who enters the bout with a perfect record of 32-0 and has 18 Kos to his name. He has power in both hands, but has just two knockouts in his past seven fights since 2013. He’s faced some top-quality opposition over the years such as Paulie Malignaggi, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Mauricio Herrera, Lucas Matthysse, Kendall Holt, Nate Campbell, and Erik Morales twice. Garcia isn’t really a standout boxer, but he is solid in all areas of the game. He has good power, speed, defence, ring generalship and chin, and that’s why he’s yet to be beaten as a pro.
Garcia turned pro back in 2007 and has fought 199 rounds since then. He stands just over 5-feet-8-inches tall and has a reach of 68.5 inches. His current knockout ratio stands at 56 per cent and he doesn’t usually go looking for knockouts as he’s actually pretty patient. He’s had some problems in the past with skilled boxers, such as Herrera and Judah and has to work hard against them since they don’t usually come to him and he’s forced to go after them. He prefers fighting opponents who are right in front of him as he can eventually wear them down.
Vargas was born in Colombia, but now calls Toronto his home. He’s 27 years old and has a record of 25-2-1 with 12 Kos under his belt. Vargas turned pro back in 2010 and has 163 rounds to his name since then. He’s basically a super welterweight who’s fought the vast majority of his bouts in Canada. Vargas is 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 72-inch reach, so he has a slight height advantage and a decent edge in reach. He was stopped by Errol Spence Jr. in the fourth round in May of last year with his other defeat being a 10-round unanimous decision to Pablo Munguia in December of 2013.
Other than Spence, most fans won’t recognize any of Vargas’ other opponents and let’s face it, he’s been brought in to face Garcia so the champ can get a few rounds in and gain some confidence before meeting Thurman. Vargas’ knockout ratio is just 46 per cent so he doesn’t pose much of a threat to Garcia, but if he’s hungry enough he should be motivated to make a name for himself here with a decent showing.
Garcia might want to get several rounds in, but needs to remember it’s just a 10-round fight. He can’t underestimate Vargas, but should be able to stop him or take a relatively easy decision as long as his work ethic is there.