As predicted by many, Danny Garcia enjoyed one of the easiest fights of his career in August 2014’s very disappointing matchup with Rod Salka. Garcia demolished his foe, scoring a 2nd round KO at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York.
Before Garcia vs Salka was even made, critics and fight fans alike had already voiced their protests. Salka was clearly a poor pick for the WBC, WBA Super World Champion; even after a tricky meeting in Garcia vs Herrara in March (which Garcia won, nonetheless), Garcia was in no need of a tune-up style bout like this.
Salka had spent the majority of his career campaigning at Lightweight, having only just recently made his debut at 140 pounds back in December 2013. You knew something was amiss when the WBC and WBA refused to even sanction Garcia vs Salka. Good for them.
In fact, the only way the fight could be made was by cutting the titles from the equation and making it a non-title event, which was to take place at a 142 pound catchweight.
When the first bell rang on fight night, it might as well have been an alarm. Garcia, who seemed to have benefited the most from the catchweight, appeared considerably bigger physically than Salka. How much weight had Garcia, the naturally bigger man, put on overnight?
Granted, the catchweight had been agreed upon, and both fighters had weighed in fine the day prior – and who the heck is anyone to stand in the way of Salka’s big opportunity? That may be true, but it still filled your stomach with an awful sense of dread that something terrible was about to happen.
And not long after the opening bell rang it did. After being outscored by Garcia’s accurate head and body shots in the 1st round, Rod Salka was dropped three times in the 2nd round, being knocked out clean following the third.
If Garcia’s full-blooded assault following the first two knockdowns wasn’t sickening enough, the final concussive left hook certainly was. After that punch, Salka collapsed, hitting the deck as his corner’s towel flew in. Needless to say, the referee waived off the contest immediately.
Some may say: “What happened is just boxing. It can be brutal. Deal with it.” But that’s hardly the point. Boxing may be a violent sport, but like any other, elite athletes at the top of their game are expected to compete with top-tier opposition. What happened that night was not sporting. It was not entertainment.
Danny Garcia is an exceptional fighter. He’s one of the game’s best boxer-punchers, finishers, and possesses a mean lead left-hook and right-hand. Garcia owes it to himself and the fans to share the ring with greater opposition – so please, Al Haymon and Golden Boy, spare the world from more nights like this…
Garcia’s unbeaten record now extends to 29 wins, 17 knockouts, while Salka’s falls to 19 wins, 3 knockouts, 4 losses.
What did you think of Garcia vs Salka? Was this an unsettling mismatch, or simply a fair game? Also, who should Garcia face in his next title defense?
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