by David P. Greisman
Roberto Garcia is familiar with Shawn Porter. They’ve worked together in the gym before, after all. But Garcia says that he himself will seem different to Porter when they face each other on this week’s episode of “Premier Boxing Champions” on Spike TV.
“I’m going to keep it real … the thing is me and Sean have boxed, and I’ve had fun with him, but I’ve been boxing him as a friend. Now on Friday I’m not going to get in there as his friend,” Garcia said on a March 9 media conference call. “To be honest with you, I don’t know him anymore. He’s another guy in front of me that I got to take care of on Friday. I’m just being real. I’m there do my job and better my life for my family.”
Garcia has bounced between welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight over the course of his career. Now he’s back down at welterweight, which the 34-year-old says is where he belongs.
“It’s definitely my weight. I am a natural, a very strong, successful welterweight. It’s just that… I never had the luxury of being managed properly. That’s why I have to earn my way to get here. There’s no handouts in my career, that’s for sure. I have to earn everything that I’ve got in my career. I’ve taken fights on short notice, fights out of my weight class. I got to do what I have to. I’m not excusing it, I’m explaining it. There’s a reason that I’ve come up the way I’ve come.”
Garcia is 36-3 with 23 KOs and 1 no contest. He has won eight straight since dropping a decision to Antonio Margarito back in 2010. Garcia’s last appearance was a July 2014 win over Breidis Prescott.
Porter, 27, is 24-1-1 with 15 KOs. He picked up a title at 147 pounds with a December 2013 decision win over Devon Alexander, defending it in April 2014 with a four-round destruction of Paulie Malignaggi. He dropped the belt this past August, losing a majority decision to Kell Brook.
“My team, they’re the ones that know how to manage Shawn,” Garcia said. “We know who he is. I know exactly who Shawn is. He’s a good fighter, don’t get me wrong. At this level, at this type of competition, everything’s competitive. I don’t think he’s ever faced someone with my type of style. I’m not talking smack. The styles that he’s fought, he hasn’t fought a guy like me. I fought good boxers and punchers as well. I’ve fought a variety of styles.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]