Mancuso: Garcia Focus Is Porter

A fighter who has been there, Danny Garcia is looking to move on. Garcia knows he defeated Keith Thurman at the Barclays Center in Match of 2017,though the judges make those decisions. And those around Garcia, the pride of Philadelphia, say he can’t forget an outcome that should have went his way.

Saturday night in Brooklyn, televised on Showtime, he is the main event against Shawn Porter. It’s the second fight of the year for Garcia, the pride of Philadelphia and also proud of his roots as a fighter representing Puerto Rico.

But this fight is more about Danny Garcia and becoming that elite fighter in the welterweight division, and a win for the vacant 147-pound WBC title could lead to an eventual clash with Errol Spence Jr. who holds the IBF championship in the division.

Yes, the boxing world is ready for a clash with two of the best. Styles make fights and this definitely has that making in a division that reminds many of those Hagler, Hearns, Leonard, and Duran years, an era when boxing was on a high note.

Danny Garcia has many of those qualities to be considered in a category as one of the best, but that stigma of a controversial loss to  Keith Thurman is still in the background. As much as Garcia wants to bypass that bad night in Brooklyn, the hurt never goes away.

But the focus is now on Porter. The agenda is to get another title in the division and make his cause as the elite fighter at 147 Saturday night at the Barclays Center.

“It means the world to me to get this belt back,” said Garcia Thursday afternoon. “This is a new chapter in my career. I’ve been in a lot of great fights. I’m a seasoned champion. This is a chance to regain something that was mine. This is one of the moments where I have to just go out there and prove myself.”

“My style is totally different than Keith Thurman, so I hope Shawn isn’t going off of that fight.  I know I’m a better boxer than Shawn Porter and I’m going to make sure everyone else knows it.”

The knock on Garcia has been starting off slow. His last fight in February there was a difference going with the jab and to the body, and early, which showed the results in a commanding win and TKO in the 9th round over Brandon Rios

That was the beginning that put Garcia and Porter together for a significant fight Saturday night. It could be Hagler-Hearns, Leonard-Duran all over again and for boxing that means the sport is healthy and thriving.

This division is all about respect and Danny Garcia at times does not get the proper accolades for his accomplishments as a past champion. He is a different fighter since losing that controversial  split decision last March to Keith Thurman for the WBA title.

Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

And there is that motivation of unifying the titles. Danny Garcia wants to do the best for himself and of course for the sport. Is this a make-or-break fight? Perhaps it is, because the stakes are high in this division and at ringside watching will be Errol Spence Jr, along with others who want a piece of the titles.

One of those at ringside will be Keith Thurman, who by the way has picked Porter to take the 12-round decision.

“I absolutely want to unify with Errol Spence Jr. after I win,” said Garcia. “I want the biggest fights. This would be my fourth world title. All I’ve ever done is face everyone they put in front me and I’ve earned those huge fights.”

But to get that fourth title, Garcia has to come on strong and hope the fight does not go the distance. Fighters are aware, and more so after their share of unfair decisions by the judges, you need to get the stoppage to assure a win.

Danny Garcia has that ability, so does Shawn Porter to get the business done without going to the three judges at ringside.

“Styles make fights,” Porter said.  “One way or another, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win this fight. There’s nothing I’ve ever wanted in my entire life more than this. I’m out here to take it.”

“Anything Danny is coming with, I’m taking it. It’s mine. Whatever it takes, I will not be stopped on Saturday night.”

There is mention about Terence Crawford also the WBO champion at 147, and to many considered in that talk as best pound-for-pound.  Crawford signed an extension and lucrative deal with his promoters at Top Rank and the way boxing works with promotional rivalries, it will take time for Crawford to oppose either Garcia or Porter and put another mega fight to fruition.

The PBC, with promotional rights to Garcia and Porter, well take it from there because Top Rank and the PBC hardly do business together even if it means the best for a boxing fan.

Either way, the business of a mega fight takes place in the ring Saturday night.

They are fighting for a title that was vacated by Thurman who could not defend due to his recurring injuries. But Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, who have held pieces of this division title at one time, they are aiming for more.

“I’m incredibly motivated, but I know that sometimes in life if you want something too much,” Garcia said,“You don’t get it. I’ve achieved a lot in this sport. This will just add more hardware to my collection.”

And with that said, we have a fight that will have plenty of implications.  

Comment: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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