By Miguel Rivera
Former two division world champion Danny Garcia (31-1, 19 KOs) is ready to bounce back after suffering the first defeat of his pro career.
Last March, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Garcia lost a twelve round split decision to Keith Thurman in their anticipated WBC, WBA welterweight unification bout.
Almost a year later, Garcia will step back in the ring with former world champion Brandon 'Bam Bam' Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs). The Showtime televised fight is scheduled for February 17th, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
According to Garcia, he's not even thinking about the loss to Thurman - and focusing his energy on the future.
From a mental standpoint, he does not view that outcome as a defeat. He believes that he did more than enough to win the fight.
At the same time, he does want to eventually get revenge with a rematch.
"It's just a loss on paper. I feel like I won the fight, it is what it is," Garcia said. "It does bother me because I know I'm the better fighter, but I have to put it in the past. I don't let it bother me; you have to have thick skin and come back stronger. "
Thurman has also been out of the ring since their showdown. He underwent elbow surgery and sat on the shelf for the remainder of 2017. He is expected to return on a date in April, against an opponent to be determined.
Garcia will take a big step towards that rematch - if he defeats Rios next month. The World Boxing Council has sanctioned the fight as a final world title eliminator. The current mandatory challenger is Shawn Porter. Once Porter gets his shot at Thurman - the winner will be mandated to face the winner of Garcia-Rios.
That adds further motivation for Garcia, who expects a very exciting fight with Rios.
"I never back down and I know Brandon has seen that. He always comes to fight, it's going to be a good fight because of our styles and determination," Garcia explained.