Maybe it’s no fair to evoke the “cherry picker” meme with Danny Garcia planning to face Keith Thurman next year, but for one more night, it’s legit.
- Danny Garcia vs Samuel Vargas, Saturday, Spike, Philadelphia. So, yeah, Garcia is facing a guy who was fed to a still-green welterweight Errol Spence, Jr. last year. And Spence, being Spence, handled him with ease, stopping him in the 4th. Vargas didn’t really show us anything, landing just 15 punches in the fight, to suggest he’ll have a fraction of a chance against Garcia. So the undercard is where it’s at. Top junior middleweight prospect Jarrett Hurd faces the most accomplished opponent of his career, Ionut Dan Ion, the former Selcuk Aydin conqueror and recent Kell Brook KO victim. Nice fight. Another prospect, 135-pound banger Omar Douglas, takes on his toughest foe by far: Javier Fortuna, a risky opponent mitigated somewhat by Fortuna’s recent knockout loss and his ascent in weight.
- Luis Ortiz vs Malik Scott, Saturday, HBO, Monte Carlo. Some folk like this heavyweight scrap because Scott has speed and skills, and is coming off a win over Tony Thompson. Don’t think he’ll give Ortiz much trouble, personally. Bantamweight Jamie McDonnell is taking it easier in 2016 than he did in 2015 with back-to-back impressive wins over Tomoki Kameda, as he faces journeyman Liborio Solis. The junior lightweight bout is probably the most evenly matched on the cards: Jason Sosa struggled with the aforementioned Fortuna before stopping him, and owns a dubious draw against Nicholas Walters, while Stephen Smith has never quite gotten over the hump against a top man.