Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) believes that welterweight rival, Keith Thurman, took a lot more punishment in their unification showdown a year ago.
Last March, Thurman handed Garcia his first career defeat with a twelve round split decision at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. In the process, Thurman unified the WBC, WBA welterweight titles.
After that fight, Thurman underwent elbow surgery and he's been out of the ring since. A date of May 19th has been set aside for Thurman's ring return, but no opponent has been secured at the moment - and he's openly stated that he's not willing to face a tough test on the date.
Besides having the belief that he should have received the decision, Garcia also feels that he dished out more punishment in the bout.
"It was a close fight against Thurman. I walked out of there with no injuries. Thurman was the one with the elbow injury, so he took more punishment than me. I could easily be unified champion of the world right now. At the end of the day, I'm a champion. That's my mindset. What doesn't break me, makes me stronger," Garcia said.
Garcia is back in the ring on Saturday night, when he faces Brandon Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) in a twelve round welterweight bout on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
If he secures a win over Rios, he will bring himself a step close to a rematch with Thurman as the secondary mandatory challenger. Shawn Porter is the current WBC mandatory challenger to the belt and gets first crack after Thurman has his upcoming defense.
And Garcia believes that he's really going to put on a show with Rios - to send a direct message to the main players in the welterweight division.
"It's the Danny Garcia show so I'm going to go in there and do what I want to do. I'm going to dictate the pace. If we want to bang, we can bang. If we want to box, we can box," Garcia said.
"I've faced fighters that came straight at me before. I've faced fighters that moved. I'm prepared for whatever. I'm a young veteran in the sport and what made me a true champion is adapting to anything and overcoming adversity. If I have to overcome adversity on Saturday night, then I'm going to do that because that's what I was built for."