Garcia dominates and shines in his debut at 154

“The Danny Garcia Show” returned to Barclays Center in Brooklyn Saturday night, and it was a smashing success. The two-division world champion, making his debut at 154 pounds, dominated and defeated Jose Benavidez Jr. by majority decision.

After 12 rounds, Garcia had done enough to earn the decision by scores of 117-11, 116-112, and an odd 114-114.

The last time we saw Garcia was 20 months ago when he lost to Errol Spence Jr. by unanimous decision.

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Garcia headlined the first card at Barclays Center in 2012 and has been a fan favorite at that arena ever since. The 34-year-old did a great job going to Benavidez’s body, which he attacked early and often. Garcia would land a career-high of 153 body shots, according to CompuBox. Overall, Garcia ran up a 233 to 117 edge in punches landed and owned a 31% connect rate.

After the dominating performance, the focus was on Garcia’s battle with depression and anxiety, which he discussed with Showtime’s Jim Gray. 

“I did take a break going through mental things; things went dark, I went through anxiety, deep depression, just trying to be strong,” said an emotional Garcia. “It was the pressure of life, being a good dad, just letting it out right now because it was all stuck inside. It rained on me for a year and a half, and the only way to do better was to fight again. I’m a fighter. If you battle anxiety and depression, you can get out of it; that’s what I did today. I fought.”

Garcia also lauded his father and trainer, Angel Garcia.

“Angel(Garcia) was there with me the whole way,” said Garcia. “I’m nothing without this man. I thank him every day. People ask me all the time why do I fight? I make a lot of money. Why does Warren Buffett still make money? I’m a fighter. This is what I do, what I love to do.”

Solid performance by Garcia, and he got the expected victory. Not sure if he can make some noise at 154, but he does have a name, so Garcia should be able to find a decent fight at 154.

Following the fight, Garcia did call out Erislandy Lara at 155  pounds for his WBA(regular) middleweight title and Keith Thurman, who defeated Garcia in 2017. Both fights would be intriguing. In addition, Tony Harrison was at ringside, and he has an interest in fighting Garcia as well. Again, Garcia has a name; we’ll see where that name and skills will take him at 154.

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