Less than three weeks from the much-anticipated Barclays Center meeting between Philadelphian Danny Garcia and Ohioan opponent Shawn Porter, who will meet for a Sept. 8 fight for the vacant World Boxing Council welterweight title, the two boxers discussed the upcoming event in a media conference call on Tuesday.
Both boxers gave quotes ranging from insightful to boastful. Here are the highlights:
The stark difference between Garcia's conservative approach and Porter's aggressive mind-set is no secret to either boxer.
Porter: "I'm aggressive, I come strong, I come fast, I come hard. Danny is one that's a little bit more patient, finds the shots that he wants and throws them and lands them. On paper, it's a brilliant fight."
Garcia (34-1-0, 20 knockouts) sounded unfazed by Porter's controversial and frequent head-butting in past fights.
Garcia: "I've got to go in there and dictate the pace of the fight and fight my fight. I can't go in there and basically get caught up in his fight. … Me and my father [Angel] have a perfect game plan to get away from the head butts, so we have some tricks up our sleeve."
Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) responded that he thought Garcia would have a harder time avoiding an intense, energetic fight — a pace that would presumably favor Porter — than he imagined.
Porter: "It's a psychological thing. When you get in the ring with me, you know what I'm going to bring, and you really have to get yourself going for that. I think a lot of times, guys get caught up with my work rate and my aggression, and they feel like they have to counter that. … When I get going in the ring, I make guys do what I want them to do — that's how I win my fights. I don't know what game plan they have for me, but I do know that I'll be ready for anything."
The 30-year-old Garcia is coming off a nine-round knockout of Brandon Rios in February in Las Vegas; Porter leapt into the ring immediately afterward and challenged Garcia to this fight. The two opponents clearly saw that night differently when asked to grade Garcia's performance.
Garcia: "I give myself a 'B.' I was off a year before that fight, so I feel like I knocked off a lot of rust. … Winning by knockout was definitely the goal. I felt like that was the only way to win that fight — by knocking him out — and that made me feel good."
Porter: "Honestly, prior to the knockout, it was a 'C' performance from me. I thought he was not as fast and sharp as I expected him to be. If that's Shawn Porter vs. Brandon Rios, no disrespect to Brandon, but that fight doesn't go nine rounds. … [Danny] found the right punch at the right time, he landed it, he knocked [Brandon] down and I stood up. That was what I needed to see from Danny in order for me to get in the ring and do what I did. If Danny doesn't knock out Brandon, I don't get in the ring, and this fight may or may not be happening right now."
Although his record includes two prior losses, Porter has never been knocked out. Garcia said he hopes to change that.