Garcia views bout with Peterson as steppingstone to bigger paydays
Undefeated Danny Garcia says he wants to dominate Lamont Peterson to show he belongs among boxing's elites.
A LOUD BELL rang, signaling the end of the 3-minute round Danny Garcia was shadowboxing in the ring at his DSG gym yesterday on Jasper Street in the Juniata Park section of Philadelphia.
Garcia, who had just finished talking to reporters before his official media workout, had finished three of these rounds already, with a 30-to-40-second break between each.
Outside the ring, Danny's father and trainer, Angel Garcia, was still holding court with a throng of pundits. This was the case, too, before Danny had even arrived at the gym.
And that's how it usually goes. Angel does most of the trash-talking and fight-hyping before his son's bouts, and Danny just focuses on the work in the ring.
"I could go 35 rounds and he'd probably still be talking," Garcia said during this particular break between rounds.
But on this day, Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) let his guard down while talking about his fight against Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on April 11.
"They say styles make fights," said Garcia, 27. "And I say, being humble, my style is to kick his butt."
He'll get that chance while trying to improve his record at the Barclays Center to 4-0. He last fought there in August, knocking out Rod Salka in the second round of a non-title fight contested at a catchweight of 142 pounds.
The fight with Peterson, which boxing fans have been calling for to unify the super-lightweight division, will share that same non-title distinction. The weight this time will be 143 pounds.
Garcia hasn't defended his WBA and WBC world super-lightweight titles since last March, when he scored a majority decision over Mauricio Herrera in Angel's native Puerto Rico.
"In order for this fight to be made, the management - my team and [Peterson's] team - that's the weight we agreed on," Danny Garcia said. "I know a lot of fans wanted it to be a unification fight, but it's still a big fight to me. It's the fight the fans wanted."
This will likely be the last time both fighters hit the ring before moving up to the lucrative and talented 147-pound welterweight class.
Just 3 weeks after the Garcia-Peterson bout, the megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will take place with record paydays for each.
Garcia has plenty of opponents to choose from in that weight class moving forward, including heavy-hitting Argentine Marcos Maidana, who's already lost twice to Mayweather.
"That's every fighter's dream, to fight on that stage for a lot of money, all the exposure in the world." Garcia said. "It's one fight at a time. Every fighter gets their chance to eat, everyone can't eat at the table at one time. I'm just taking it one fight at a time.
"I got to go out there and do what I always do, I have to dominate. I got to win the fight so those big fights will be alive for me."
Clearly, Garcia knows the focus must be on Peterson because a loss would take the luster out of any future matchups at 147.
Garcia's focus was on display as he shadowboxed, hit the mitts on his father's hands, the heavy bag next to the ring and the speed bag in the far corner of the gym.
"I'm ready for whatever," Garcia said. "If he wants to try to box, I'll just have to be a lion and stalk him down. Or if he wants to fight, we can fight. Everyone knows I can fight, that's not hard for me. I'm not going in there just trying to knock his head off, all crazy. I'm going to go in there and be Danny Garcia and set him up."
Angel nodded and was asked if he had any closing thoughts as Danny finished wrapping his own hands before getting into the ring.
Angel indicated his son will leave the fight with a zero still in the loss column.
"We're going to ruin [Peterson's] party," Angel said. "Because April 11, [it will be] still undefeated - I'm not going to say 'champ' because there is no title involved - undefeated fighter, Danny Garcia."