Junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia will defend his RING, WBA and WBC belts in a Showtime-televised rematch with four-division titlewinner Erik Morales that will mark the grand opening weekend of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Oct. 20, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer informed RingTV.com on Wednesday.
The show is being billed “Brooklyn Pride,” and will boast several fighters from the East Coast.
Garcia (24-0, 15 knockouts), of Philadelphia, will be in the main event yet again facing Morales (52-8, 36 KOs), of Mexico City, whom he floored in the 11th-round of a unanimous decision that dethroned Morales as WBC beltholder in March.
Garcia, 24, is coming off a fourth-round knockout of Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) that earned him THE RING and WBA belts on July 14. Morales, who turns 36 in September, will be back in the ring for the first time since losing to Garcia.
Also being targeted for the card are newly-crowned WBA welterweight beltwinner and Brooklyn native Paulie Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KOs), middleweight contenders Peter Quillin (27-0, 20 KOs) and Danny Jacobs (22-1, 19 KOs), of Brooklyn, another Brooklyn resident in welterweight Dmitriy Salita (33-1-1, 17 KOs), and Bronx-born junior welterweight Eddie Gomez (9-0, 6 KOs), of Puerto Rico.
Planted between Barbara Streisand concerts, which are scheduled for Friday and Sunday, “Brooklyn Pride” stands to be aided by the combined promotional efforts of “Showtime, Showtime Extreme and, potentially, the CBS Sports network,” according to Schaefer.
“I really wanted to put together a card that shows the diversity of Brooklyn, and to really showcase some of those fighters from and around the Brooklyn and greater New York area, so it’s basically an East Coast card,” said Schaefer.
“The main event is going to be Danny Garcia, obviously the Puerto Rican from Philadelphia, and Erik Morales, the Mexican. Erik feels that in his last fight, that when he came off of [gall bladder] surgery, that he wasn’t at his best. He’s convinced that he’s going to beat Danny Garcia this time around, and you have the classic Puerto Rican-Mexican showdown.”
Garcia will be after his fourth straight triumph over a current or former world titleholder following consecutive decisions over ex-beltholders Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt in April and October, respectively.
Malignaggi, Quillin, Jacobs and Gomez will face opponents to be determined.
Malignaggi, 31, dethroned the physically bigger, taller, harder-punching and previously unbeaten Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21 KOs) in front of Senchenko’s hometown fans at Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine, scoring a ninth-round technical knockout.
A former IBF junior welterweight beltholder in just his fourth welterweight bout, Malignaggi has not lost since falling by 11th-round knockout to Khan as a junior welterweight in May of 2010.
Nicknamed, “Kid Chocolate,” Quillin announced the possibility of his being at Barclays in an earlier interview with RingTV.com. Quillin is coming off a unanimous decision victory over ex-junior middleweight titleholder Ronald “Winky” Wright, whom Quillin floored in the fifth round. Nicknamed, “Kid Chocolate,”
Quillin, 29, lived in Brooklyn for many years before recently relocating to Los Angeles to be closer to Wild Card Boxing Club where he trains.
“We are currently talking to Paulie about two or three potential opponents, so that should be announced within the next couple of weeks,” said Schaefer. “We will have Peter Quillin on as well, possibly in a world title fight that will be announced in the next couple of weeks.”
Apparently, one of those options for Malignaggi is 22-year-old Pablo Cesar Cano (25-1-1, 19 KOs) of Mexico City, who has won three straight fights — two of them by knockout — since, himself, being stopped by Morales in the 10th-round of his junior welterweight debut in September.
On July 21, Cano earned the WBA’s interim 140-pound belt with a seventh-round majority decision over previously unbeaten Johan Perez (15-1-1, 12 KOs).
“There’s a possibility there. I think that he could move up to 147 because this is a growing kid, but it still has to be discussed. We want to look at the tapes and stuff like that. Malignaggi’s only got seven knockouts, so it’s not like you’re going to put him in there and Pablo’s going to get battered out,” said Cano’s manager, Rolando Arellano.
“Malignaggi’s basically a tactician and not a big hitter, and Cano, on the other hand, is a big hitter and he moves forward. There has not been an official offer, but there was a concept offered. It’s something to think about, so we’re going to compare the records and things. But generally speaking, it seems like a good idea.”
Jacobs has scored two consecutive knockouts since, himself, being stopped in the fifth round by Dmitry Pirog (20-0, 15 KOs) in July of 2010.
Jacobs, 25, is coming off a first-round knockout of Robert Kliewer in March, Salita, 30, off his third straight win by eight-round unanimous decision over Ronnie Warrior in April, and Gomez, 19, a six-round unanimous decision over Joseph De los Santos in June.
Photos / Bob Levey-Getty Images, Chris Hutty, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org