Trap fights are one of boxing’s recurring scenarios. When a marquee fighter has more significant matchups looming on the horizon, for the sake of bigger business, promoters will set up their prizefighter with one last hurdle before a more palatable fight and payday can become a reality.
Danny Garcia will be presented with a potential trap fight Saturday when he takes on journeyman Adrian Granados at Dignity Health Sports Park in a nationally televised fight on Fox.
Garcia (34-2, 20 knockouts) is aiming to reclaim his stake atop the stacked 147-pound division and will be looking to rebound after losing to Shawn Porter last summer for a shot at the World Boxing Council belt.
If Garcia, 31, gets past Granados, he will be poised for a potential title opportunity against a who’s who of welterweights such as Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr., Mikey Garcia, Adrien Broner and rematches with Keith Thurman and Porter to avenge losses. Garcia, who’s lost two of his last three fights in close decisions, is not planning that far ahead — yet.
“I’m ready for anybody, but I’m also not looking past Granados. At the end of the day, I have to get this victory,” said Garcia, a former two-division champion. “There’s a lot at stake, so I know Granados will be ready.”
“Danny has to look great and dominate,” trainer Angel Garcia said of his son. “He has to put Granados down. When Danny starts dropping leather, Adrian won’t be able to handle it. He’s a different-level guy.”
Garcia, a Puerto Rican who fights out of Philadelphia, is one of the biggest names in boxing. He has a decorated resume that features wins over Erik Morales (twice), Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Paul Malignaggi, Robert Guerrero and Brandon Rios.
Granados (20-6-2, 14 knockouts), a Mexican American from Chicago, does not come close to presenting the same pedigree as Garcia’s previous opponents. His best career showings arguably came in disputed losses by decision to Porter and Broner.
Granados, 29, wants to secure his breakthrough and spoil Garcia’s plans of landing a career-defining fight. He admitted it’s his last chance to become a star in the sport.
“I’m tired of being known as a steppingstone and gatekeeper. I’m a legitimate fighter,” Granados said. “I have a lot more to give than what I’ve been known for. I don’t think Danny is looking past me, but I know he has bigger plans. I’m here to interrupt those plans.”
Garcia and Granados will walk into the ring Saturday with something to prove. Their fighting styles should mesh well and deliver an action-packed fight.
“I want the war. I hope he brings it to me,” Garcia said. “The more he throws, the more he’s going to be open for a big punch to land.”
The Fox broadcast begins at 5 p.m. Pacific time and also includes heavyweight title challenger Andy Ruiz (31-1, 20 knockouts) of Imperial, Calif., facing Russian veteran Alexander Dimitrenko (41-4, 26 knockouts) in the co-main event. To open the broadcast, Brandon Figueroa (18-0, 13 knockouts), the younger brother of Omar Figueroa, challenges Yonfrez Parejo (22-3-1, 11 knockouts) for the World Boxing Assn. interim super-bantamweight belt. An extra broadcast billed as “PBC Fight Night” will air at 7:30 p.m. on FS1.
Manouk Akopyan has been a member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011 and has written for USA Today and the Guardian.