Photo credit: Shamel Washington
When Danny Garcia left the ring at the Barclays Center last August, one can only think he felt a bit of relief. After only two rounds he destroyed Rod Salka via KO at 2:31 mark.
I prepared for that fight like I prepare for any other fight, I trained hard, I sacrificed like it was another big fight, said Garcia. I went in there and I did what I had to do and I knocked him out and that was that.
Just 5 months earlier he won a controversial majority decision over Mauricio Herrera. The fight, which took place in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Garcias parents homeland swirled with whispered allegations of score tampering and cronyism due to Garcias Puerto Rican heritage albeit his self-described Philly Rican status within his own culture.
The win was definitive and set up the biggest test of his career in a non-title fight with Lamont Peterson and just in time for the biggest stage in boxing, Premier Boxing Champions on network TV via its broadcast partner, NBC.
I believe everything is about timing. I do believe this is the right fight for me at this time because the fans wanted this fight so we made the fight happen and now I just got to go in there Saturday night and execute the game plan and get him out of there.
I love boxing and Im very excited about the situation. This is what boxing needed to be on a new level to new viewers so fans whove never knew anything about boxing will be able to watch this fight now. So its going to be on NBC free TV so its very exciting for me as a fan and as a person who loves boxing so its big for the sport.
Working out of his DSG Gym in the section of North Philadelphia known locally as the bottoms, Garcia steadied his strategy to focus on his own growth instead of preparing specifically for Peterson.
We did the same things we just turned up on conditioning we did a lot of new things in conditioning to make me stronger and we are working smarter and getting stronger.
Im not really worried about him Im just going to go in and dictate the pace and make him fight my fight and be Danny Garcia in the ring.
Garcia knows this fight not only sets up bigger title matches but also will gain him a larger section of fans in the combat sports space since it is more readily accessible now. Depending on the performance of the main eventer, the network TV life of boxing can be solidified and creation of generational stars to define these historical times Garcia and Peterson are fortunate enough to be involved in.
People would send pictures to my phone or tag me on social media saying theyve seen me on TV like Ive never had this many people see me on TV before a fight, people would only see me during a fight but now I have thousands of people, millions of people who are sending me pictures to my phone or tagging me so the exposure that I received from national television was great and I think it will make fans of anybody.