“Swift” versus “The Magic Man.”
On August 1, 2015, Danny Garcia scored a ninth-round stoppage over Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The official time was 2:22 and the fight was contested at welterweight.
Garcia, 27, entered the bout with a 30-0 record. The popular Philadelphia star held Ring, WBC and WBA titles at junior welterweight and he was on excellent form. Notable wins included Kendall Holt (SD 12), Erik Morales (UD 12, KO4), Amir Khan (TKO 4), Zab Judah (UD 12) and Lucas Matthysse (UD 12).
But having outgrown the weight, Garcia was now targeting the 147-pound division.
Malignaggi had held world titles at 140 and 147 pounds. The charismatic New Yorker made up for a deficiency in punching power with speed, agility and ring IQ. However, he’d been inactive since suffering a stoppage loss to Shawn Porter, almost 16 months earlier, and he was a huge underdog.
It was all Garcia on fight night. He pursued the 34-year-old Malignaggi around the ring, scored well with the jab, and his right hand was a damaging punch. As brave as they come, Malignaggi fought through a badly damaged right eye, but as the punishment intensified, his work rate dropped significantly.
Garcia enjoyed a very good Round 8, scoring power shots with both hands. In the ninth, another attack knocked Malignaggi off balance and referee Arthur Mercante Jr. stopped the fight.
“I feel strong, I feel good, and I used my jab,” said Garcia afterwards. “I have things to work on. I’m proud of myself, 147 is where it’s at.”