Two division world champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia makes his long awaited return against former world champion Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios in a welterweight showdown on February 17th, 2018 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada presented by the Premier Boxing Champions.
Much Needed Break
Garcia took a much needed break from boxing after his split decision loss to Keith Thurman last March 4th. The 29-year old Garcia reigned as world champion for six years and faced 10 world champions in his last 14 fights. In his 5 welterweight bouts, Garcia faced four world champions.
Garcia was unified champion at 140 pounds and has fought and defeated the likes of Erik Morales, Zab Judah, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi and Lamont Peterson. He was the WBC 147-pound champion before losing the belt to Thurman in a unification bout.
Coming From Retirement
Rios himself has fought some of this generation’s best welterweights including Timothy Bradley Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Bam Bam won the world title at 140 pounds and figured in a storied rivalry with Mike Alvarado which brought us some of the most exciting bouts we’ve ever seen.
Bam Bam has split his last six bouts but is coming off a win over Aaron Herrera. Rios retired after losing to Bradley in 2015 but returned 19 months later to face Herrera. He didn’t look too rusty in his return, winning by 7th round KO. But facing Garcia is another story. A win would put him back on the map while a loss should mean the end of Rios career.
Danny Garcia is the heavy betting favorite here at -1600 while Rios is the underdog at +650. Rios used to be one of the most exciting fighters in the business. He is always willing to take punishment in order to land his power shots. Sometimes, he makes his fights interesting by allowing himself to take a pounding.
But the wear and tear of a long and hard fought career has caught up with him and he simply isn’t the same exciting fighter that we used to adore. Even before his career went on a downslide, Rios struggled against quality opponents and wore down as the fight went on. Having said that, Danny Garcia should have no problem with him.
Just A Shell
Rios plodding style makes him a sitting duck target for an accurate puncher like Danny Garcia. Swift should have little or no problem in getting the kind of offense that he wants in this fight. He could even score a big knockout win here if he pressures Rios round after round.
While he still has the warrior inside of him, Rios is just a shell of his old self. This is a smart choice for Danny Garcia who obviously wants to look good after losing his last fight to Keith Thurman. His detractors don’t like his choice of opponent but if there is one foe who can make DSG look good, it’s Rios. We’re picking Danny Garcia to win by a wide unanimous decision or late stoppage.