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Danny Garcia and Adrian Granados have a lot to prove in upcoming title fight

Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia
Keith Thurman, left, fights Danny Garcia during the fifth round of a welterweight championship boxing match in March 2017.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

Danny Garcia and Adrian Granados will look to exploit every difference between them when they fight Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, but their ambitions are near mirror images.

While Philadelphia’s Garcia (34-2, 20 knockouts) is pursuing a pay-per-view bout against Manny Pacquiao or a rematch with co-welterweight champions Keith Thurman or Shawn Porter, Chicago’s Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) thinks he’ll find himself in a title fight by defeating Garcia.

“We both have a lot to prove,” Granados said.

Garcia, at 31 and coming off narrow losses by decision to World Boxing Assn. champion Thurman and World Boxing Council champion Porter in his last three fights, is counting on improved training methods to make him a more powerful, fitter version of the former two-division champion who has seemed on the downturn.

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“I can’t wait,” Garcia said. “It’s been a long, hard camp and this will definitely be my fight. You know what I bring to the table. … I’m going to prove that.”

Granados has lost one majority decision, two split-decisions — including one to former four-division world champion Adrien Broner — and a well-contested bout against Porter since 2014.

“I’m known for putting on great fights and coming up short, and I’m tired of it,” Granados said. “I’m expecting the best Danny Garcia. I know he’s not overlooking me. That’s how it should be, because I’ve never backed down from the best and I think we’ll be putting on a classic.”

That’s their other mutual venture. The Garcia-Granados fight card on Fox, which includes heavyweight Andy Ruiz of Imperial, Calif., is set to begin at 5 p.m. PDT, one hour before unbeaten World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford defends his belt against England’s Amir Khan on an ESPN pay-per-view card that begins at 6 p.m. PDT.

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Garcia, who knocked out Khan in the fourth round in a 2012 junior-welterweight title bout, said he views Crawford-Khan as an “interesting, 50-50” fight but believes his bout with Granados will prove more entertaining.

“Definitely my fight … I bring fireworks, speed, power, entertainment, blood and guts,” Garcia said. “I’ve prepared myself for a classic fight. I’m ready to go in and show the world who’s the best welterweight and why this is the fight to watch.”

Granados made it clear that even though Garcia has never been knocked down, “I’ve got to take it out of the judges’ hands. … I’m ready to deliver on that. Anything’s possible, and anyone can be stopped in boxing.”

Garcia isn’t buying that.

“I’ve faced the biggest punchers in the division and I’ve never been down,” he said. “I’m in great shape, better than ever, and if anyone’s going down, it’s him.”

With Pacquiao positioned for a summer fight, Garcia believes that he’s a candidate to meet the 40-year-old who’s won titles in eight divisions and currently wears the WBA secondary welterweight belt.

“I know how things work, and boxing is all about timing. Any time a legend like Manny Pacquiao is calling you out, it motivates you to take care of your business,” Garcia said. “Winning here will set me up for all those big fights. … I definitely want to avenge my losses” to Thurman and Porter.

Granados understands the magnitude.

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“He’s a bigger name, but if I come out and upset him, that throws me in with all those big names … this is my must-win opportunity,” he said.

Main Event: Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) vs. Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs), welterweights

Where: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson

When: Saturday; doors open at 3 p.m., Fox card begins at 5 p.m. PDT

Television: Channel 11

Tickets: axs.com, Dignity Health Sports Park box office

Undercard: Andy Ruiz (31-1, 20 KOs) vs. Alexander Dimitrenko (41-4, 26 KOs), heavyweights; Brandon Figueroa (18-0, 13 KOs) vs. Yonfrez Parejo (22-3-1, 11 KOs), super-bantamweights

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lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimespugmire


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