Sometime before he departs for New York on Tuesday night, a member of Danny Garcia's camp will reach into the boxing champion's glass trophy case and grab his title belts. The belts will be packed into a duffel bag before they leave Garcia's Bensalem home.
They will be flaunted at news conferences, workouts, and autograph signings leading up to the Aug. 9 fight against Rod Salka at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The belts will be carried into the ring by Garcia's cornermen, but they won't be on the line.
The World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association declined to sanction the fight. The bout, originally announced as world championship fight in the light-welterweight division, will be a non-title match.
The sanctioning bodies deemed Salka an unworthy title challenger. If Salka wins, he will not be champion but Garcia will be forced to vacate his titles. Title fight or not, Garcia's father and trainer, Angel, said he will still bring the championship belts.
"You have to bring the hardware. You can't leave the diamonds at home," Angel Garcia said Wednesday before training at Garcia's Juniata Park gym.
Garcia (28-0, 16 knockouts) will meet Salka in a 10-round bout, two rounds fewer than originally scheduled. The match will be fought at 142 pounds, two more than Garcia's usual weight. Neither sanctioning body ranked Salka in its light-welterweight top 15. Salka (19-3, 3 KOs) has fought four of his last six fights at lightweight.
"A lot of people count people out because they don't have a name. But a fight is a fight," Danny Garcia said. "You could put two people in the street to fight and it will be a good fight. And you don't know them."
Garcia, 26, said he is not disappointed that he will not be defending his title. He said he is fighting at 142 pounds to prepare for an eventual move to the 147-pound welterweight class. The decision on when he will move up in weight will be made by Garcia's manager, Al Haymon, who also selects his opponents.
His father said Garcia would dominate that weight class, just as he did at 140 pounds.
"I don't care who it is," Angel Garcia said. "I don't care who the killer is. I don't care who the tough guy is. I don't care who the pretty guy is. I don't care who the red guy is. I don't care who the black guy is. I don't care who the blue guy is. I don't care about any of them. When we go to 47, we're going to take over 47."
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