Ring, WBC and WBA (Super) Junior Welterweight champion Danny Garcia returns to action on August 9 at the Barclays Center, New York against Pennsylvania’s Rod Salka, according to Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya.

The bout will be Garcia’s third at Barclays in his last five bouts. Barclays was the site of his famous 4th round knockout of Mexican legend Erik “El Terrible” Morales in 2012 and his unanimous decision victory over former undisputed welterweight champion Zab “Super” Judah in 2013. Garcia was last seen in action on March 15th, when he won a controversial majority decision win over Mauricio Herrera in Puerto Rico.

Garcia said that Barclays “feels like a second home” to him and that he will give his Brooklyn fans “another great show”. The undefeated Philadelphia native added that he “will be ready” for Rod Salka on August 9.

Garcia’s three year title reign has been impressive. He has made five successful title defenses against Amir Khan, Erik Morales, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthyse and Mauricio Herrera. His popularity has grown leaps and bounds with his willingness to take on all comers. But this latest bout is a big question mark in the minds of fight fans and experts.

A Bridge

Rod “Lightning” Salka has a record of 19-3 with only 3KO’s. He has won four out of his last five bouts including an April 18 unanimous victory over the erstwhile undefeated prospect Alexei Collado. The 31 year old Salka has been a pro since 2007 but this will be his first world title bout. He was previously the NABA USA Lightweight champion and the IBO International Lightweight champion. He will be moving up in weight to challenge Garcia.

Salka said that this will be “the biggest stage he has fought in his career” but he is “not intimidated” at all because Danny Garcia is “beatable”. Salka said that his experience has “prepared” him for this bout and he’ll show the world “how it’s (beating Garcia) is done.”

But boxing rumors point to Salka as a bridge between Garcia and IBF Junior Welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson especially since Salka is a natural lightweight. Incidentally, Peterson is also slated to fight on the same August 9th fight card. Garcia and Peterson are rumored to be fighting each other later this year and GBP wants them to be bridged “safely” to their title unification bout.

Collision Course?

Peterson will be facing New York’s Edgar “EL Chamaco” Santana in the co featured bout of the fight card. Peterson has a record of 32-2-1 with 16 KOs. Like Garcia, he is a resident champion in the Junior Welterweight class. He owns victories over Amir Khan and Kendall Holt. Peterson is coming off an impressive win over the previously unbeaten Canadian Dierry Jean last January 25th.

Like Garcia, Peterson will be defending his belt against an unheralded opponent in Santana. Although Santana is the NABA light welterweight champion, this will be his first shot at a world title. The 35 year old Santana’s most notable career win was a majority decision win over contender Josesito Lopez in 2008. Otherwise, Peterson’s 29-4 record with 20 KO’s were against unknown foes.

With Peterson and Garcia fighting lowly opposition on August 9, their paths are expected to collide later this year in a heavily anticipated unification match which will determine the true king of the junior welterweight class. The other major player in this division is Ruslan Provodnikov, but with his recent upset loss to Chris Algieri, the winner between Garcia and Peterson would be the consensus best fighter in the light welterweight class.

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