Danny “Swift” Garcia battles Robert “Ghost” Guerrero for the vacant WBC welterweight title on January 23rd, 2016 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Coming off a 9th round TKO win over former welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi in August of 2015, Garcia will be looking to silence his critics when he fights at the talent-laden 147 division for only the second time in his career.

Swift Not Gift

The former unified Light Welterweight champion is unbeaten in 31 fights but has struggled since his impressive 12-round decision win over Lucas Matthysse in 2013. Two of his four wins since that bout have been controversial. First he struggled to beat Mauricio Herrera in what was supposed to be his Puerto Rico homecoming in 2014. Two fights later, he beat former 140-pound champion Lamont Peterson in another controversially scored bout which earned him a new monicker “Gift”, an obvious spoof from his real monicker of “Swift”. Looking to erase all doubts, Garcia promised to stop Guerrero within 5 rounds.

The Ghost of his Past?

Stopping Guerrero is easier said than done. He’s lost just thrice in his 39 fight career but has never been stopped. Known as the Ghost for being an elusive target during his earlier days, Guerrero is an experienced ring warriors who’s been boxing professionally since age 18. Guerrero’s been in many wars, but even in his losing effort to Keith Thurman and Gamaliel Diaz, he’s proven that he’s never out of any fight. Perhaps he got  his indefatigable spirit from his wife, a Leukemia survivor, whom Guerrero sacrificed the peak of his career for. In 2010, Guerrero gave up a mega-fight with Michael Katsidis to be at her bedside and bone marrow transplant. With his wife healthy now, Guerrero’s focus is back to boxing. After going 2-2 in his last four bouts, he’s eager to prove that he isn’t just the ghost of his glorious past.

Who Takes This?

Garcia is a big -900 favorite against Guerrero who’s at +500. He is five years younger than Guerrero who’s looked anything but an unhittable Ghost in his recent bouts. Many experts observe that Guerrero has looked like a spent fighter since losing to Mayweather and that may be because of a long and hard fought career that started in 2001. Stylistically, this could be a war between two excellent and intelligent boxers. But since Guerrero has noticeably slowed down in recent years, Garcia has the advantage in speed. If he can land his combinations early and dictate the fight from a distance, he will have Guerrero’s number. For Guerrero to win, he must drag this to a slugfest where his ring experience and big fighting heart may frustrate Garcia.

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