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Danny Garcia Begins His 154 With A Good Start – Danny Garcia celebrated his super welterweight debut after cruising to a majority decision victory over exciting contender Jose Benavidez Jr. in the SHOWTIME main event from Barclays Center in Brooklyn headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event Saturday night. The two-division world champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia dominates the eleven of 12 rounds over the unbeaten super middleweight David Benavidez’s brother.

Philadelphia’s Garcia (37-3, 21 KOs) has become a staple at Barclays Center ever since headlining the arena’s first boxing event in 2012, and his return against Benavidez (27-2-1, 18 KOs), saw him pick up his seventh victory in Brooklyn. He saved perhaps his most expressive moment post-fight when he broke down in the ring discussing his struggles with mental health with SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray, showing the authenticity that has made him such a fan-favorite in Brooklyn.

“I did take a break going through mental things, things went dark, I went through anxiety, deep depression, just trying to be strong,” said a visibly emotional Garcia. “It was the pressure of life, being a good dad, just letting it out right now, because it was all stuck inside. It rained on me for a year and a half and the only way to do better was to fight again. I’m a fighter. If you battle anxiety and depression, you can get out of it, that’s what I did today. I fought.”

The two-division world champion looks as good as ever in his 154-pound debut as he outpoints a game Jose Benavidez Jr. Saturday night. (Photo: Boxing Photos)

Garcia who hadn’t fought since losing a unanimous decision to undefeated, unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in December 2020, boxed smartly from the opening bell and never relinquished control against Benavidez.

The counter punching, the body work, the quick head movement and combination punches were all on display as Garcia made a point with a brilliant, 12-round majority decision over Benavidez atop a SHOWTIME tripleheader in a Premier Boxing Champions event. The 34-year-old Garcia won on the scorecards of judges Glenn Feldman (116-112) and Tony Paolillo (117-111) overruling Waleska Roldan’s 114-114 score.

After runs as a world champion at 147 and 140 pounds, Garcia debuted at 154 pounds after a nearly 20-month layoff. Known as a counterpunching expert, Garcia went on the attack early and often, targeting Benavidez’s body on his way to landing a career-high of 153 body shots according to CompuBox. Garcia’s superior hand and foot speed left Benavidez trailing him for much of the night, looking to land right hands over Garcia’s vaunted left hook.

Garcia (right) dominates a 12-round bout against Benavidez.

The 30 year old Benavidez appearing supremely confident pretty much throughout that his size and power would surely bring about Garcia’s demise before the final bell. It simply didn’t happen, and all the showmanship in the world on the part of the Phoenix fighter couldn’t change that. Oddly enough, Benavidez appeared fine eating Garcia’s punches for the first eight rounds while doing little himself. And when he did punch, he didn’t exactly land effectively all that often. Garcia had a lot to do with that, of course, but Benavidez’ strategy remained completely puzzling.

Benavidez best moment came in round nine when he connected on one of those right hands and popped Garcia’s head back, but he was unable to capitalize on the attack enough to change the trajectory of the fight.

“I’m happy with my performance,” said Benavidez. “I feel like I did good. I’m fighting in his backyard, one of the best, I took his punches like they were nothing. I thought I won the fight. But it is what it is, a loss makes you stronger.

garcia-benavidez-fight (17)
Benavidez’s confidence unable to beat Garcia’s superior hand and foot speed.

“It’s tough, things don’t always go your way, there are ups and downs. I try to be positive, like when the doctor said I would never walk again. I didn’t let that get to me. I kept on going.”

Many boxing fans were disappointed with Benavidez’s performance during the fight, while Garcia did look good on both offense and defense in his 154lb debut. Obviously, this victory is very important for Garcia to keep on track and find the next opponent.

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