By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Danny Garcia says he isn’t overly concerned about Shawn Porter’s habit of using his head.
Angel Garcia still will make sure that he repeatedly reminds the referee assigned to their fight to prevent Porter’s head from becoming a weapon during their welterweight title fight Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Andre Berto and Adrian Granados, Porter’s two previous opponents, both have reiterated recently that head-butts were factors during their losses to the former IBF welterweight champion.
“That’s not boxing,” Angel Garcia, Danny’s father/trainer, said following a press conference Thursday at Dream Hotel Downtown. “Head-butts is not boxing. Do you ever see that in the rulebook of boxing? Head-butts are illegal. You get warnings. I’m gonna make sure the referee understands that, that head-butts is not boxing. That’s not boxing. You get warnings and you get points taken away. I’ll make sure the ref understands that. That’s not boxing. Boxing is scoring. This is not boxing.”
Danny Garcia believes he and his father have devised a strategy that’ll prohibit Porter from being able to use his head when he bends forward and works his way inside. Whatever happens, the former WBC welterweight champion won’t allow himself to become consumed with Porter’s reputation for leading with his head.
“I can’t go in there worrying about his head,” Danny Garcia said. “I’ve gotta go in there and fight, deal with it as it goes.”
Berto called his ninth-round, technical-knockout loss to Porter “bullsh*t” because he suffered so much damage from clashes of heads during their April 2017 bout at Barclays Center.
“He didn’t punch hard at all,” Berto said prior to his victory over Devon Alexander on August 4. “He didn’t really hurt me with any punches. I was just so, you know, confused at the time on how many head-butts I could just take and take, and the referee just wasn’t saying nothing.”
Porter dismissed Berto’s comments as an excuse for his loss.
Philadelphia’s Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) and Las Vegas’ Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) will fight for the WBC 147-pound championship an injured Keith Thurman gave up four months ago. Garcia lost that title to Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) by split decision in their welterweight title unification fight in March 2017 at Barclays Center.
Garcia-Porter will be the main event of Showtime’s tripleheader Saturday night (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
A 10-round heavyweight bout between Brooklyn’s Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) and Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs), of Carson, California, also will be part of this three-fight telecast. In the opening bout, Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) and Argentina’s Cesar Barrionuevo (34-3-2, 24 KOs) will square off in a 12-round WBC welterweight title elimination match that’ll determine the mandatory challenger for the Garcia-Porter winner.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.