Danny Garcia rejected the use of the word “desperation” to describe his April 20 fight in Carson against respected opponent Adrian Granados.
“I’m not desperate … [it’s] more pressured to look good and win because of the big fights” that loom ahead, former two-division world champion Garcia told reporters Tuesday. “I’ve got to handle business.”
Granados (20-6-2, 14 knockouts), meanwhile, had no problem embracing the bluntness of his situation.
“This is my last chance to become a star in boxing,” he said.
For Philadelphia’s Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs), the bout follows two welterweight-title defeats in his past three bouts. The 31-year-old was edged by Keith Thurman by split decision in March 2017, and beaten narrowly on the scorecards by World Boxing Council champion Shawn Porter in September.
Garcia returns in a Fox-televised main event preceded by former heavyweight title challenger Andy Ruiz (31-1, 20 KOs) of Imperial, Calif., meeting Alexander Dimitrenko (41-4, 26 KOs).
“I’ve got to make sure I take care of business and look impressive,” Garcia said. “It’s a very important fight for my career and for big fights in the future.”
Beyond the pursuit of rematches with Thurman and Porter, who barely kept his belt at Dignity Health Sports Park earlier this month against Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas, Garcia knows the welterweight stable under his Premier Boxing Champions boss Al Haymon is jammed with talent that also includes unbeaten IBF champion Errol Spence Jr., WBA secondary champion Manny Pacquiao and former four-division champion Mikey Garcia.
“All of those fights make sense,” Danny Garcia said. “I’m willing to get in with any of those guys after this. I’m a big name, a big draw, and I believe any of those guys would be willing to fight me.”
While a rematch with Porter makes the most sense, Garcia could emerge as a possible summer foe for Pacquiao if Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains retired and logical heads prevail in dissuading the 40-year-old Philippine senator from further pursuing a date with the peaking Spence.
First comes Granados, whose career is pocked by disputed losses by decision to Porter, to former four-division champion Adrien Broner and to Brad Solomon in a 2015 undercard bout on the Mayweather-Pacquiao card.
“I’ve been in this position many times and I know it’s these so-called easy fights that can be harder than the toughest ones. I’m making sure I’m training hard,” said Garcia, who returns to Carson after fighting inside the larger Galaxy-Chargers stadium portion of the then-named Home Depot Center in 2008 under the Oscar De La Hoya-Stevie Forbes card.
“I know this is the opportunity of a lifetime for Granados, a rugged, aggressive guy who wants bigger fights in the future. I’ll show why I’m one of the best fighters in the world.”
Granados is aiming for a breakthrough fight on the Fox stage.
“Our styles mesh perfectly for an all-action fight and a win opens up a lot of opportunities for me,” Granados said. “Danny Garcia has fought at 140 [pounds, like Granados] for a long time. Over the years, he’s mentioned my name in a negative, derogatory way. There’s a chip on my shoulder. He’s studious. I want to keep him on his heels and my pressure may be able to break him. I feel I’m the better fighter, with more speed. And with my punch output, I believe I can lay a lot of hands on him.”