By Michael Rosenthal
LOS ANGELES – Danny Garcia was surrounded by some of the biggest names in boxing on Tuesday afternoon when he declared: “I fought more (big) fights than any other fighter on this stage.”
That might be true. Among those Garcia has faced: Erik Morales (twice), Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Paulie Malignaggi, Robert Guerrero, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter.
And had a few moments gone his way in his two setbacks, Garcia (34-2, 20 knockouts) might still be undefeated.
“It’s tough,” he said in a one-on-one interview at a news conference to formally announce upcoming matchups under the new deal between Premier Boxing Champions and Fox Sports. “I thought I won both fights. What can I do? Only come back stronger. I’m more motivated off this one than if I actually won.
“It’s only a matter of time before I get back what’s mine.”
Garcia was referring to his last fight, a close, but unanimous decision loss against Shawn Porter for the vacant WBC welterweight title this past September (112-116, 113-115, 113-115). His only other setback was a split-decision against Keith Thurman in March of last year (112-116, 113-115, 115-113).
The Philadelphian gets back in the saddle against Adrian Granados on June 20. Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) is known for upsetting then-unbeaten Amir Imam in 2015 and a series of painfully close losses.
The only fighter to blow him out was Shawn Porter, who won a wide decision last November.
“It won’t be hard to get up for Granados, not at all,” Garcia said. “Like I said, losing is the worst feeling in the world. Nobody likes losing. I’m motivated. I’ll definitely show up that night.”
Garcia reiterated on Tuesday that he’d like a rematch with Porter or Thurman for a title. In the meantime, he also is intrigued with the possibility of facing the winner of the January 19 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner in Las Vegas on Showtime pay-per-view.
“That’d be a great fight,” he said of matchup between him and the winner. “Those are two big names, Pacquiao and Broner. And I haven’t fought either one of them. It would sell out a stadium and be a big pay-per-view fight. It would make a lot of money.”
Who does the think will win in January?
“I know a lot of people are picking Pacquiao,” he said. “I’m going to go with Broner in an upset. He’s younger. I think the concern is that Pacquiao is going to outwork him. If (Broner) lands cleaner punches and ups his work rate a little bit, I think he can win the fight.”
Of course, Garcia believes he’d beat either fighter.
“I’ve never doubted myself,” he said. “I know I’m one of the best … I know I’m the best.”
Michael Rosenthal is the most recent winner of the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Nat Fleischer Award for excellence in boxing journalism. He has covered boxing in Los Angeles and beyond for almost three decades.