Danny Garcia will be climbing up the weight ladder when he makes his super welterweight debut July 30 against Jose Benavidez Jr. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The former 140 and 147-pound champion Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) will be fighting for the first time since suffering a unanimous decision loss to Errol Spence Jr. in Dec. 2020.
The 34-year-old Philly fighter is looking to use the former world title challenger Benavidez (27-1-1, 18 KOs) as a stepping stone during his Showtime-headlining bout to springboard into more meaningful matchups.
“I feel great and look good. It’s the Danny Garcia show, another day another dollar. I can’t complain,” Garcia told FightHype.com. “I got to best this Benavidez kid, and then we’re off to bigger and better things. I’m doing like I always do my whole career, taking it one fight at a time.”
The 5-foot 8-inch, small-framed Garcia will have to overcome size disadvantages at 154 pounds against some of the division’s best fighters. Benavidez will sport a near three-inch height and reach advantage, but Garcia doesn’t seem to be worried.
“It’s not about size. It’s about skills, heart, and determination, and how bad you want it. I believe in myself, and that’s all it takes,” said Garcia. “You could be the biggest guy in the world, but if I’m smart and I believe in myself more and I want it more, I can take it from you. That’s all it’s about – believing in yourself.”
Garcia certainly has the skills and resume that translates into confidence. In a professional career that spans 15 years, Garcia has beaten Erik Morales (twice), Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Paul Malignaggi, Robert Guerrero, and Brandon Rios in addition to highly competitive, narrow losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter.
In Jan. 2020, Garcia already considered his credentials worthy of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and he intends to better present his case by campaigning in a new weight class.
“Definitely we definitely want to be in the Hall of Fame. That’s why we do this, to put our names in the history books. That’s why I’m going up to 154 because I want to be a legend, I want to be a guy that’s fearless. A person that’s not afraid to fail, takes risks,” said Garcia.
“No risk, no reward. That’s been me my whole career. We always want to do bigger and better things. That’s why we’re doing this. Not because we have to, because we want to. It’s a big difference.”
In order to be a three-division champion, Garcia would have to unseat the current undisputed king of the super welterweight division in PBC stablemate Jermell Charlo.
A win against Benavidez would put him in a better position to fight Charlo and accomplish his aspirations.
“I just want to do one fight at a time. I got to get back to Danny Garcia who was worried about who’s in front of me. I can’t worry about somebody I’m not even fighting,” he said. “That’s pointless. Of course, name-dropping is always good for promotion. It brings more eyes and all that, but they already know I’m coming for the top spot.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.