Danny Garcia: I’m Stronger, I’m Smarter

Danny Garcia (Brown/Gold trunks) and Rod Salka (Black/Gold trunks) during their fight at the Barclays Center on August 9, 2014  (Getty)

Danny Garcia (Brown/Gold trunks) and Rod Salka (Black/Gold trunks) during their fight at the Barclays Center on August 9, 2014 (Getty)

After eight years in the pro boxing game, unified super lightweight champion Danny Garcia knows better than to enter the ring with any preconceived notions about the man in the opposite corner.

“Every fight is different, and I prepare myself in the gym for the worst,” Garcia said during a recent media conference call ahead of his next fight. “If we got to sit there and bang it out for twelve rounds, then you got to bang it out.  But if I’ve got to chase him down, then I’ve got to chase him down.  I just got to make adjustments like a true champion does, and April 11th, I can’t wait. “

Danny Garcia takes on Lamont Peterson in a catchweight bout on Saturday, April 11 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The fight is part of Premier Boxing Championship’s double-header that airs live on NBC (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 pm. PT).

“I just have to go in there as a champion, as a fighter, and I just got to go in there and make adjustments,” Garcia said. “Be smart, and I know when Danny Garcia is 110% ready that nobody can beat him.  I’m training hard.  I’m doing what I’ve got to do.  I’m not leaving anything in the gym.  I’m ready.”

Despite past wins over star opposition like Erik Morales, Amir Khan, and Zab Judah, Philadelphia native Garcia sees a victory over Peterson as a vital piece to cementing his legacy in the sport.

“I think this is even bigger for my legacy [than my prior fights] because here’s the champion,” Garcia said. “He’s faced great opponents; he’s faced great fighters too.  I think stylistically this is going to be a great fight, and it’s big for my legacy, so I’ve got to go in there and make sure I go in there and hand him my business.”

In his previous fight, Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) pummeled an overmatched Rod Salka on his way to a second-round kayo in June 2014. Prior to the Salka mugging, 27-year-old Garcia had squeezed by Mauricio Herrera with a majority decision, and outpointed Argentine brawler Lucas Mattysse.

“He’s a champion,” Garcia said about Peterson. “He’s a champion, and I’ve got to go in there and prepare.  Can’t take anyone light.  I never take anyone light.  I’m running every day.  I’m training hard.  I’m disciplined.  I’m sacrificing.  I’m doing everything I always do.  I’m just more experienced, I’m stronger, I’m smarter.”

Lamont Peterson (Getty)

Lamont Peterson (Getty)

Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) is coming off of a late-round tko victory over Edgar Santana in June 2014. This followed a win over Dierry Jean and a third-round knockout defeat at the hands of Lucas Mattysse. 31-year-old Peterson’s only other loss was to Timothy Bradley in 2009.

Washington D.C. native Peterson knows that when it comes to predicting a winner in boxing, styles make fights. His and Danny Garcia’s drastically different results against Lucas Mattysse are no indication of whose hand will be raised on April 11.

“At the end of the day, you should know, it makes no difference,” Peterson said during the conference call. “You can match it up many different ways, different fighters, it never makes any sense.  If that was the case then-There’s many situations and incidents throughout boxing history tell you that that makes no difference.  A boxer, you get hit good, you could get hurt and you could get knocked out.  That’s just part of the game and something that I have to accept and just move on.  I have, and I’m just focused on Danny Garcia.”

“I’m very excited for April 11,” Garcia said. “I’m training real hard and come April 11th; I’m going to give the fans another tremendous fight, and I can’t wait.”

In the co-feature of the evening, Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) defends his WBO World middleweight title against Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs).

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