By Rudy Mondragon
On March 15, 2014, Danny Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) will take on Mauricio Herrera (20-3, 7 KOs) in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. This is a good fight for Danny Garcia for many reasons. He needs a tune up fight, which this will be. He is coming off a tough fight last Fall against Lucas Matthysse, so he needs to face someone who does not pack much of a punch. But the most important reason this is a good fight is that it is in Garcia’s country of heritage, Puerto Rico.
What does history tell us? Romanticizing is something that is done in sports and is used in order to capitalize on individual athletes or sports team. In other words, idealized stories are created to cast shadows over bottom line agendas. When Fernando Valenzuela came to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the fans were told that he was the next big thing. And he was, but what gets less attention is that Fernando was the Dodgers ticket to regaining Latina/o fans. Prior to Fernandomania, Latina/o fans boycotted the Dodgers because many Latina/os were displaced from their homes in order to build Dodger Stadium over Chavez Ravine. Jackie Robinson is an amazing story about an athlete of color breaking into an all white sport. The bottom line for the Dodgers, however, was not trying to be racial justice fighters, they wanted to win a championship. This fight between Garcia and Herrera is no different. There is a goal in mind.
Danny Garcia will be fighting in Puerto Rico for the first time in his career. Why is he not fighting in his hometown of Philadelphia? Why is he not fighting in Los Angeles or Las Vegas? There is an intentionality that Golden Boy Promotions in exercising. Fighting in Puerto Rico means tapping into the boxing fan base that currently exists there. Danny has fans in the United States, but the goal of this fight is to get buy-in from the fans who live in the US unincorporated territory that is Puerto Rico.
Tito Trinidad had fans on both sides. The fans knew him and loved him. Same with Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Manny Pacquiao, and many others. Fighters like Oscar De La Hoya, and in this case Danny Garcia, who are US born and bred have a hard time gaining acceptance from the fans of their country of heritage.
This fight represents an opportunity for Golden Boy Promotions and Danny Garcia to tap into a new market. This will afford them more Puerto Rican-based fans and, looking into the future, more pay-per-view sales when Danny Garcia becomes a PPV level fighter.
So in the name of Boxing and Money, tonights fight represents an opportunity to capitalize on Danny Garcia and make financial killings in the future. It does not mean that tonight won’t be exciting though. Tune in tonight and also watch Daniel Ponce De Leon take on Juan Manuel Lopez.
What are your thoughts BMB Fam?