- Popular Philadelphia wrestler Danny Garcia returns to the ring on July 30 against Jose Benavidez Jr.
- The 34-year-old fighter throws one of boxing’s best left hooks.
- He gave Insider a brief master class in landing the left hook ahead of his PBC in the Showtime fight.
Famed Philadelphia boxer Danny Garcia returns to the ring on Saturday for his junior middleweight debut against José Benavidez Jr. at the Barclays Center in New York.
Garcia is one of boxing’s best-known fighters, a former two-weight world champion and a popular East Coast fighter who has beaten renowned opponents such as Amir Khan, Erik Morales and Zab Judah.
The 34-year-old told Insider recently that he’s “excited” to be getting back into combat sports and will enjoy the atmosphere when he makes the walk to the Brooklyn ring ahead of his 40th professional fight.
“I want to go out there, look good and dominate,” he said.
One of the ways Garcia looks good is when he throws and lands, his proven finisher – the left hook.
He gave the Insider a brief master class on one of boxing’s most iconic punches.
Garcia perfected the left hook through years of practice.
“I’ve been working on the left hook every day,” he told us. “I loved Felix Trinidad as a kid, and he had a great left hook, so every day since then I’ve been working on that,” trying to emulate the Puerto Rican icon, he said.
Garcia punched a variety of left hooks from his formative years as a wrestler with his father, Angel Garcia.
They worked on pitfalls like identifying what the opponent is doing and then responding accordingly so they could try to work towards that equalizer.
“We always work on sitting on our punches, sitting on the right hand, sitting on the left hook,” he said of his partnership with his coach father Angel. “As you grow in boxing and learn more, you can create more openings, and that’s what we do.”
It’s all a matter of time
The essential ingredient for a strong left hook, according to Garcia, is timing.
“It’s all about being in position and defining the punch where you throw a jab to the body, feint to the body and then throw a left hook upstairs,” he told us.
“Or, you can slide inside the jab and throw the left hook, like when I caught Morales.”
Watch Garcia catch Morales in a 2012 fight here:
“There are many different ways to land the left hook,” according to Garcia. “You can always double the left hook too,” he said.
“So we worked on all these different ways to throw the left hook and then fine-tuned them.”
Is the type of left hook determined by what the opponent is doing? “That’s exactly it,” Garcia said.
“Some fighters are different. Some fighters can attack after throwing the right hand after throwing the jab, so you can jump right in. It depends on the fighter in front of you and how you open it.”
Garcia has listed five left hooks he most admires in boxing history.
See who Garcia highlighted:
- Floyd Mayweather
- Roy Jones Jr.
- Felix Trindade
- Oscar de la Hoya
- Joe Frazier
“Floyd and Roy Jones had sort of a left hook where they jump with him,” Garcia said. “They jump with him and catch you with the left hook.
“Mine is a little different,” he said. “Mine is more like the one in Trinidad where I sit. He had a great left hook, and also Oscar de la Hoya had a great left hook. These are the guys I compare my left hook to.
“Joe Frazier was more like… He’s going to chase you and then throw that left hook. His style was so different and you really can’t train for a fighter like him.”
See Frazier’s famous left-wing knockout of Muhammad Ali here:
Garcia wants to ‘keep busy’ at junior middleweight
Garcia has won world championships in the super lightweight and welterweight divisions of boxing.
He competes for the first time at 154 pounds this weekend, in a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) at the Showtime Championship Boxing event.
Garcia is determined not just to win, but to look good at it. Like many fighters, he hates talking too much about the future when he has a fight scheduled in his immediate future.
“You have to face one fight at a time,” he said.
However, seeing as he is on the same PBC roster as many of the elite junior middleweights on the planet, he will likely become a significant addition to what is already a competitive, heavyweight division.
The best of the 154, according to Garcia, are undisputed champion Jermell Charlo, rising monster Sebastian Fundora and talented boxer Tony Harrison. “I would say these are the best guys,” he said.
“Obviously Castano is still up there for sure. He just lost to Charlo, who had the best style that night and the man with the best punches.”
But first and foremost, Garcia wants to dominate Benavidez.
“It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve fought, so I’m excited to put on a good fight,” he said.