If fans had their way, Danny Garcia would make the first defense of his WBC 140-pound title against lightweight slugger Brandon Rios, according to a RingTV.com poll that asked who the newly crowned junior welterweight titleholder should fight next.
Almost 30 percent of the 8,000 voters who participated in the poll want to see Garcia, THE RING’s No. 5-rated junior welterweight who recently defeated Erik Morales to win his first major title, take on the magazine’s No. 1-rated lightweight, Rios, a former WBA beltholder.
Both fighters are young (Rios is 25, Garcia is 24), unbeaten, heavy handed, and extremely confident in their abilities. They would also bring ethnic and regional rivalries to their fight. Rios is a West Coast-based fighter of Mexican descent; Garcia is an East Coast-based boxer of Puerto Rican heritage.
Fans are also interested in seeing Garcia, of Philadelphia, take part in an all-East Coast cross-roads bout with with veteran Zab Judah, of Brooklyn, N.Y., or a title unification fight with the winner of the Lamont Peterson-Amir Khan rematch.
Judah received 29 percent of the vote; the Peterson-Khan winner garnered 25.7.
Junior welterweight standouts Mike Alvaraso, Humberto Soto and Walter Matthysse received less than 6 percent of the vote.