Mismatch Made in Heaven

By Robert Ecksel on August 5, 2014
Mismatch Made in Heaven
Garcia fights unknown, unheralded, and unranked Rod Salka, from Bunola, Pennsylvania.

Those who like mismatches won’t want to miss Saturday’s tripleheader from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center…

Boxing is the theater of the unexpected, even on Showtime, and anything can happen when two men step in the ring. But the results of some fights seem almost preordained and no amount of ballyhoo can change the inevitable.

Those who like mismatches won’t want to miss Saturday’s tripleheader from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

In the main event, WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs), the top 10 pound-for-pound claimant from Philadelphia, fights unknown, unheralded, and unranked Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs), from Bunola, Pennsylvania, in a non-title affair.

“To me it doesn’t even matter,” said Garcia, “title fight or not, because at the end of the day it’s my show. I’m going to put up a great performance. I’m going to go out there and give the fans a great fight. Don’t worry about it not being a title fight because it’s still a fight.”

However good that sounds, it doesn’t explain why Garcia, in his pugilistic prime, is fighting a fighter no one has ever heard of.

When ESPN’s Teddy Atlas was asked by Todd Grisham if he could explain why Garcia is fighting Salka, he said, “Can anyone say Al Haymon?” 

As if to justify Teddy’s jibe, Garcia said on a recent conference call, “You know, I don’t pick my opponents. My manager Al Haymon does. And I never go against him. He picked the Khan fight, he picked the Matthysse fight, he picked the Zab Judah fight, he picked the Herrera fight, he picked all my fights. I never question him about his decisions. I just accept the fight.”

Atlas continued, “What is the sense of having ratings, when you don’t live up to your own rules? It’s the reason why the sport I love, the sport you folks at home love, has no respect, no credibility.”

There are many reasons why boxing is denied respect and lacks credibility, but what are we to make of Danny Garcia? He looked fantastic defeating Lucas Matthysse in Sept. 2102. Unfortunately he looked dreadful against Mauricio Herrera in his last bout, despite being awarded a questionable decision.

Perhaps because of the Herrera bout, during which he had a bad night or was exposed, perhaps because it’s the dog days of summer, Garcia is being matched against a soft touch. All fighters are entitled to an occasional easy night. But those of us who yearn for competitive fights cannot in good conscience promote this bout. By contrast, those who enjoy watching one man pummel another have something to look forward to this weekend.

The co-main event features IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KOs), hailing from the nation’s capital, defending his title against Spanish Harlem’s Edgar Santana (29-4, 20 KOs). The 35-year-old Santana is better known that Salka, but incrementally. He was a hot New York prospect who ran afoul of the law and is trying to punch his way back into contention while there’s still time.

Santana hits hard, but he’s nowhere near the caliber of Peterson. Like the Garcia-Salka fight, Peterson vs. Santana is another Mismatch Made in Heaven.

When the aforementioned favorites dispose of their opponents, an almost foregone conclusion, they’ll presumably fight each other next.

The third televised fight of the night is between Brooklyn’s own Danny Jacobs (27-1, 24 KOs) and Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs), from Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, for the vacant WBA World middleweight title (as opposed to the WBA Super World middleweight title held by Gennady Golovkin).

Compared to Salka and Santana, Fletcher is a live underdog, but he’s going to have to be more alive than ever if he hopes to defeat Jacobs on his home turf. Jacobs’ backstory is inspirational and will be used, as it has been used in the past, to help build the gate. After he defeats Fletcher, probably by early stoppage, he may be the next man in line to meet and greet the typhoon called Triple G.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Garcia vs. Salka: Live on SHOWTIME August 9

Teddy Atlas on Danny Garcia-Rod Salka

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  1. eduardo gomez 05:18pm, 08/07/2014

    is going to be a good fight nobody knows rod salka but he looks great against Alexei collado if he can move avoiding a lucky punch, and he has stamina for 12 rounds y could be a decent fight I don’t see an easy opponent for danny

  2. NYIrish 05:49am, 08/07/2014

    Three things on the level;
    Roller Derby, Midget Wrestling and Pro Boxing.

  3. Koolz 10:40am, 08/06/2014

    I can’t stand this guy!! Him and his loud mouth father and his tale of how he had his mother umbilical cord wrapped around his throat when he born so he has been fighting his whole life and Bla bla bla…Just go get knocked out already!

    His last fight he got beat bad and lost huge and still won!  That is what is wrong with boxing, these stupid promoters controlling the judges and the boxing world. 

    Garcia doesn’t deserve those belts.  I like to see him go up and wait and get KO’d with this father screaming at the top of his lungs as his son hits the mat and doesn’t make the count.

  4. Don from Prov 04:00am, 08/06/2014

    “All fighters are entitled to an occasional easy night”—Which is very true, the main difference was that those fights used to take place in a small venue in Bayonne, NJ, not as the “main event” on a televised card, not even on free TV.

  5. Darrell 08:26pm, 08/05/2014


    You’re slobbering all over the English language.  It is not pretty.

  6. nicolas 08:12pm, 08/05/2014

    I have less a problem now with the fight coming up, however,  for me it is more of a criticism of the product that Showtime puts out, though I would also say that the recent HBO show of Kovalev was not really a HBO worthy contest. The fight that you mention of Marquez took place ion Mexico, and was also perhaps the third billed fight, and maybe could be argued was a tuneup for then light weight champ Marquez before he would fight Pacquiao a third time, this time of his welterweight championship. Also the fight that took place in Mexico was not part of showtime or HBO, though I believe promoted by Top Rank.

  7. telltales 03:14pm, 08/05/2014

    When Juan Manuel Marquez fought Likar Ramos, nobody objected.
    Why now?

  8. nicolas 11:34am, 08/05/2014

    I had to read the article again, after going to look it up on another site, and realize that it is a non title affair. It is still however a very poor fight. In the past, many champions had non title fights, but those champions, especially in the lower weight divisions fought more often, and so an easy fight, and perhaps the chance of some fans seeing a world champion was far more understandable than today.

  9. nicolas 10:37am, 08/05/2014

    Well in this case, since it is in New York State, should not the New York State Athletic Commision get involved and say that they will not allow this fight. What is Showtime doing by presenting these fights? This is one of the reasons I don’t go for Showtime. they really don’t have the good fights on, HBO is far superior in the product they present. the disaster that is boxing today, I think would not be, if these Athletic Commisions in the USA would get to gether, and don’t forget, their is an organization called something like, the Association of Athletic Commissions, would nix such fights, also that they would get together and only recognize one champion, and not allow other champions to fight, unless they are willing to take on that champ.

  10. Mateng 10:31am, 08/05/2014

    Garcia’s doing cherry picking , maybe he wanna retire undefeated just like Floyd, who’s ass is teddy atlas always kissing. What’s wrong with that teddy atlas?  Why don’t you start kissin garcia’s ass too?  Atlas finds honor in kissin Floyd’s ass.

  11. Clarence George 07:12am, 08/05/2014

    My father used to get his silk shirts and undies from Sulka, as did Al Capone.  Of course, that’s “Sulka,” not “Salka,” but I’m not one to let a vowel stop me from making an interesting observation.

    Anyway, This match shows surprisingly poor judgment on Haymon’s part (unless he knows something we don’t, and he probably knows lots of things like that).  If not for the Herrera bout, it wouldn’t be a big deal.  But that’s a pretty big “If.”

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