By Keith Idec
Danny Garcia regularly reminds reporters, fans and other fighters that beating him looks easier from outside the ring than it actually is once you face him.
Shawn Porter promised Garcia will learn something similar about him once they square off Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The former IBF welterweight champion considers the diversity of his skill set something Garcia can’t handle.
“I think my ability to mix it up is gonna create a problem for him,” Porter said. “The variance in my styles and punches is gonna be too much for him. I’m gonna keep him on his toes, keep him guessing and keep him off balance. That’s the key to winning Saturday.”
The 31-year-old Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs), a Las Vegas resident raised in Akron, Ohio, and the 30-year-old Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs), a Philadelphia native, will fight for the vacant WBC welterweight title in the main event of a Showtime tripleheader (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Garcia will try to regain the 147-pound championship he lost to Keith Thurman by split decision in their 12-round, 147-pound title unification fight 18 months ago at Barclays Center.
Thurman relinquished that title late in April once a hand injury further delayed his return from elbow surgery. Porter knows he can secure his own second shot at Thurman, who barely beat him in their 12-rounder in June 2016, by defeating Garcia.
“It’s gonna be everything I do that will help me get this win,” Porter said. “It’s the work rate, power and a different level of speed than he’s used to. Nobody has my combination of that power and speed. I just don’t think Danny can handle me. He says I’m tailor-made for him, but we’ll see on Saturday night.
“I’m not looking for any surprises on Saturday. I’m very familiar with his game plan and what he does well. I expect to use my speed, box from the outside, be aggressive and win the fight.”
Porter suspects Garcia will try to hold him to prevent Porter from getting inside on him.
“The Kell Brook fight is on my mind because I know that’s a fight someone will watch to try to figure out how to stop me,” said Porter, who lost a majority decision and his IBF welterweight title to Brook in August 2014. “He’s gonna try to hold like in that fight and do it even more than Brook did. Other than that, he has no chance of catching me coming in.”
Just before Porter and Garcia go at it, Showtime will air a 10-round heavyweight bout between Brooklyn’s Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) and former IBF champ Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs), of Carson, California. In the opener of this three-fight telecast, Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) and Argentina’s Cesar Barrionuevo (34-3-2, 24 KOs) will box in a 12-round WBC welterweight elimination 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.