Junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia of Philadelphia was recently asked why, in his mind, there are still those out there who don’t quite yet believe he’s an elite fighter.
His answer was different, yet probably right on the money.
“I really don’t know because I feel like I’m before my time; a lot of people still don’t understand it because I’m not supposed to be here right now,” said Garcia, who Sept. 14 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas will defend his two championship belts against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina. “It wasn’t supposed to be my time right now. I made it my time. I took it and the people still don’t understand it, but I’m just going to keep building my legacy and proving myself.”
Garcia is right. He was flying under the radar, a victory over aging Erik Morales to win his first 140-pound belt in March 2012 notwithstanding. Morales was looked upon as past his prime, so while Garcia was given credit, no one was really singing his praises all that much afterward.
Then Garcia, 25, stopped fellow champion Amir Khan – in his prime – in the fourth round in July 2012. Too many, Garcia had arrived. Garcia knocked out Morales in the fourth round in a rematch in October. Garcia slugged it out for 12 rounds with Zab Judah and retained his two belts via unanimous decision in April in his most recent start.
Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) also has victories over Kendal Holt in October 2011 and Nate Campbell in April 2011.
Garcia-Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) will be televised by Showtime pay-per-view on the undercard of the junior middleweight main event between Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KOs) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) of Mexico.