Garcia aims to build off knockout victory

Danny Garcia. (C.F. Sanchez/Staff Photographer)

NEW YORK - Danny Garcia stood in the center of his locker room as his manager snipped away the fighter's white wrappings, freeing the fists that dealt one of the most potent knockouts of his career.

Saturday's second-round knockout at the Barclays Center was Garcia's shortest fight in three years. He earned $700,000 for dispatching heavy underdog Rod Salka in 4 minutes, 30 seconds. The final flurry was a righthanded body shot matched with a blindsided left hook. The referee ended the nontitle fight immediately and medics rushed into the ring as Salka lay flat on his back. Salka had been knocked down three times in 78 seconds.

"That's what I was supposed to do," Garcia said. "I came here and did what I was supposed to do. And I'm going to do that with whomever I step in the ring with."

Garcia's win in the 142-pound bout was expected, if not certain. Salka, so lightly regarded that the fight was not allowed to be a title defense for Garcia, had weighed less than 140 pounds in his last eight fights. But the crushing result - which Garcia predicted - was needed. Garcia's father and trainer, Angel Garcia, said it should allow people to move past the fighter's close win in March against Mauricio Herrera.

The telecast seemed to be built around positioning Garcia to meet Washington's Lamont Peterson in his next fight. They both hold light-welterweight world titles at 140 pounds. Peterson preceded Garcia's bout with a knockout win and both fighters were asked about each other by the television reporter in the ring. Garcia's camp and his promoter did not seem interested.

"You think Peterson could stand in front of Danny and take shots like that? Danny would knock him out," Angel Garcia said.

Garcia plans to fight once more this year. His father said he would like that fight to be contracted for 145 pounds as Garcia continues to climb toward the 147-pound welterweight class.

Danny Garcia could make his welterweight debut in March, his father said. That plan would make Garcia available in September 2015 if the chance arose to meet Floyd Mayweather Jr. His father said previously that he would want to work his son into the welterweight class instead of matching him right away with the 147-pound king. Danny Garcia said he is "up for whatever."

The father and son both said they would like to fight in Philadelphia, which Garcia has not done in four years. Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez said the company is looking into it.

"He's one of the top fighters pound for pound, and to fight in his hometown is a dream," Gomez said. "We are going to make it happen."