Doug Fischer

Danny Garcia blasts Rod Salka in Round 2 of non-title bout

RING junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia made short work of  Rod Salka, dropping the undersized underdog three times in Round 2 of a non-title bout on Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Garcia laid Salka out flat on his back with the third knockdown, ending the fight at 2:31 of the round.

Garcia (29-0, 17 knockouts) was as much as a 40-1 favorite according to some odds makers and he proved them — as well as the legion of boxing media and fans who criticized the mismatch — correct.

The 26-year-old Philadelphia native confidently stalked a skittish Salka from the onset, hurting the 31-year-old Pittsburgh native to the body. Garcia, who fought at a 142-pound catchweight, which kept his RING, WBC and WBA world titles off the table, kept his body attack up in Round 2 and it set up a hard right hand that rocked Salka backwards toward the ropes where follow up punches sent the natural lightweight to the canvas.

A series of hooks and sweeping body shots forced Salka (19-4, 3 KOs) to take a knee, where he remained for a count of nine. On shaky legs, Salka decided to stand his ground with the heavier and much stronger boxer-puncher. It was a tactical mistake to do so but it probably just sped up the inevitable conclusion of the bout. Garcia nailed Salka with a right to the body, which set up a huge flush left hook that deposited the game but over-matched underdog on his back.

After the fight Garcia told Showtime’s Jim Gray that he was willing to face IBF beltholder Lamont Peterson, who defended his title with a 10th-round stoppage of Edgar Santana in the co-featured bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card.

“I’m all about fighting the best fighters,” Garcia said. “I leave that up to (manager) Al Haymon, but if (Peterson) wants it he can get it too.”

A full ringside report by Joe Santoliquito will be posted shortly.

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