Three Dog Night

By Robert Ecksel on August 9, 2014
Three Dog Night
Are boxers pieces on a chessboard? Is boxing nothing more than a hit or miss proposition?

It may be the dog days of summer, but that’s a poor excuse for the lame tripleheader at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Saturday night. Showtime, Golden Boy Promotions, and Al Haymon presented a trio of mismatches that were as painful to watch as they are to write about.

If I’m honest, I’ll be called a hater. If I’m dishonest, I’m just a coward. But there’s no justification for what we witnessed, unless boxers are pieces on a chessboard and competition just a hit or miss proposition.

It’s some consolation that the fight card met our expectations. The problem was that our expectations were so low going in that having them met is at best a Pyrrhic victory. 

Our advocacy is not something we take lightly. We choose our battles with care. We have a stake in boxing’s credibility . But we cannot do this on our own. In some realms the sword is mightier than the pen, and getting some help is not only called for, it’s critical.

Broadcasting showcases where favorites strafe no-hopes doesn’t win friends and influence people; nor is it any way to keep loyalists from fleeing our sport in droves.

In the main event of the night, WBC/WBC junior welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs), fighting out of the City of Brotherly Love, decimated designated victim, Rod Salka (19-4, 3 KOs), hailing from the boxing hotbed of Bunola, Pennsylvania. Garcia dropped Salka three times in the second round, forcing referee Steve Willis to stop the slaughter at 2:31. Salka, who is ranked #71 by BoxRec, had no business being in the ring with Garcia. He took an awful beating.

In the co-main, IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), from Washington, DC, defended his title against Spanish Harlem’s Edgar Santana (29-5, 20 KOs). Like Rod Salka, Santana was beaten from pillar to post. But unlike Salka, Santana, to his credit and detriment, was able to take it. His fight against Peterson lasted 10 rounds before it was stopped at 2:48. No doubt Santana needed a payday, but at what price?

The third fight of the night featured Brooklyn’s own Daniel Jacobs (28-1, 25 KOs), on the cusp of making history as the first cancer survivor to ever win a title (in this case the vacant WBA “regular” middleweight title). His opponent was Jarrod Fletcher (18-2, 10 KOs), from Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia. Jacobs vs. Fletcher was the most competitive fight of the night, which under the circumstances isn’t saying much. He also took a pounding, hitting the deck in rounds one and five, at which point the ref waved it off at 2:58.

There will always be winners and losers. It’s the essence of sport. But when the winner and loser are preordained, as was the case Saturday night, the frisson of competition morphs into mistrust. The fans deserve better. The fighters deserve better. And boxing deserves better as well.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Danny Garcia vs Rod Salka full fight 09.08.2014

Lamont Peterson vs Edgar Santana full fight 09.08.2014

Daniel Jacobs Defeats Jarrod Fletcher - SHOWTIME Boxing

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  1. Darrell 04:51pm, 08/11/2014

    So what nicolas?  Ali still fought his Dunn’s & Lubber’s nevertheless.

    I’ve got to say though, you’d be hard pressed to see a mismatch like that in the gym, certainly not to the point of it ending in the clubdown that it did…....disgraceful matchmaking really.

  2. No Joy to the World 06:56am, 08/11/2014

    A disgusting exhibition. If I was the King of the World, I would ban such a disgrace. When Roger Daltrey sang, “We won’t be fooled again, he obviously wasn’t thinking of boxing fans!

  3. nicolas 02:52am, 08/11/2014

    DARRELL: to compare Garcia to Ali is way off in that Ali, when he was fighting the Dunns and even earlier Lubbers he had quite a busy boxing schedule. The year he defended against Dunn he had three other fights. When he fought Lubbers he was not champion, but also fought quite a lot. He also was so much in demand, don’t forget that he fought Dunn in Germany, and Lubbers in Indonesia.  Perhaps Mr. Garcia will have one more fight this year.

  4. Darrell 10:28pm, 08/10/2014

    Sure, not a stellar card by any means but I’ll never understand the hate for Garcia. He’s had tough fights… he has an easy one this time, so what…..Ali fought his Dunn’s & Lubbers.  He did what was entirely expected of him.

    BTW, I’ve said it on that fights page, Garcia beat Herrera comfortably without getting out of 2nd gear…...let’s not hold that one up as a robbery of some sorts, it wasn’t.

  5. Koolz 12:25pm, 08/10/2014

    Garcia is a joke their whole family is a bunch of loudmouths!  Angel is always freaking out about something, Golovkin doesn’t belong as a star Garcia belongs as a star WHAT?  Garcia just beat up a kid!  Garcia got his butt handed to him by Herrera.  This a true JOKE!

    Middleweight division is below GGG.  Golovkin would destroy anyone at 160.
    Pirog is an actor now.  Didn’t think he was going back to boxing.

  6. nicolas 12:23pm, 08/10/2014

    When I was a young boy growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I remember on Friday nights, and later Saturday at 5:00 PM, that they had used to show professional wrestling on TV. It was in a studio the ‘matches’, but it always featured a well known wrestler against someone who was a journeyman, and was supposed to be the loser. Of course, they were advertising the shows that would be at that time at the San Francisco Cow Palace. From what this show in Brooklyn presented, it reminded me of that, only this show was in a big arena (how many were in attendance) and it was on a pay station Showtime. People like this Mauro guy sound like a circus barker or something. Mr. Al Bernstein I guess can’t figure out anything else to do to make money, and should hang his head in shame. The product that Showtime brought was perhaps only worthy of Television where you can still have rabbit ears.

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:19pm, 08/10/2014

    Never Been to Spain-I like the way you process….reminds me of myself during my more lucid moments.

  8. Never Been To Spain 11:21am, 08/10/2014

    Amazing that certain members of “Three Dog Night” are still touring in 2014, but without Chuck Negron,  just wouldn’t be the same. Those old rockers never know when to hang’em up.

  9. Pat Davis 08:43am, 08/10/2014

    What in the hell is wrong with Danny Garcia and his Dad, they should be ashamed of them self for taking this fight, I lost all respect for the two after the Herrera fight, this just put the frosting on the cake. They pay Salka $100.000 to risk his brain and then after the fight Danny sounds like he doesn’t take a poop without Al Haymon’s permission. sure didn’t sound like a champ to me more like somebody’s lap dog.  I think he’s lost a lot of fans after this. if they want to fill the seats give Herrera a rematch you coward.

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:19am, 08/10/2014

    Danny’s great grandmother, much like Tiny Tim, summed it all up as they took the family group photo….”:fuck you”.....that was clearly meant for one and all…’s what I’m thinking…..(1) Quarantine all Australian fighters for their own good…..they mean well but they just don’t get it. (2) Enough of the setups for Jacobs….Pirog is still around….so go for it Godammit! (3) If Danny doesn’t get lucky Lamont will whip his ass to a frazzle…if…big, big if this fight is ever made! (4) Spadafora would have taken that fight in a heart beat…...guaranteed he would have made a better showing….oh wait….that wasn’t the point….was it?

  11. Eduardo 08:02am, 08/10/2014

    Garcia should give revenge to Mauricio Herrera that fight he knows he lost

  12. bk don 06:39am, 08/10/2014

    The problem with boxing which is nothing new is there is no caretaker. Unlike the other major sports which all have governing bodies boxing is essentially governed by corrupt organizations that rarely act in the sports best interest. I won’t bother to complain about them now but we all know they’re greedy, unethical sanctioning bodies usually only interested in lining their own pockets even at the expense of the fighters it claims to protect. So go figure when two of them decided to not sanction this main event b/c the challenger was so underwhelming. Two sanctioning bodies turning down the opportunity to make money in a title defense! Yep, that’s all you need to know about how much of a joke the main event & this card was. I’m not pointing the finger at anyone involved(promoter, manager, fighters even the network) b/c i expect so little of them. It’s time to call out the fans who choose to support this nonsense. If a promoter wants to put on this card it shouldn’t happen on the network dollar which is supported by fans who pay for that service. let them do a ppv out of it and see how well they do.

  13. Clarence George 02:19am, 08/10/2014

    Wow, that is indeed the perfect title.  Every writer comes up with a better way to say something after a piece has been published (it happens to me all the time), but there’s no way to improve on “Three Dog Night” to sum up last night’s three dogs.  One could have switched over to the Rogers Cup, but Roger Federer vs. Feliciano Lopez wasn’t exactly a barn burner either.

    What can one say about Garcia-Salka…that there was much rejoicing?  Much shaking of heads is more like it.  As Robert pointed out in a previous article, every boxer is entitled to an easy fight on occasion.  Trouble is, this wasn’t Garcia’s occasion, and he sure as hell wasn’t entitled to it.  Maybe, just maybe, he would have been if not for his highly questionable win over Herrera, his most recent bout prior to last night.

    Garcia better pick up the pace, and massively, in his next go-round.  That, or take up competitive needlepoint.

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