Almost a year since his last fight, Danny Garcia returned to the ring in February with a knockout win over Brandon Rios, but if you ask Shawn Porter, he wasn't impressed at all with Garcia's performance.
With only weeks before Porter meets Garcia in Brooklyn with the vacant WBC welterweight title on the line, Porter talks to Fightful about the September 8 bout. When asked about preparing for Garcia, a two-division world champion, and if that preparation involves looking at film from Garcia's fight against Rios, Porter then gave his thoughts on that fight.
When looking at Garcia's win over Rios, Porter said he's not really paying much attention to it. Being present at ringside to watch the ninth-round knockout victory in Las Vegas, Porter thought Garcia looked lost at times and even underestimated Rios in some ways. Porter looked at the matchup on paper and didn't think a truly-prepared Garcia would have needed nine rounds to dispose of Rios.
“I’m honestly not going to pay much attention to that fight. The reason being, I don’t think he was ready for Brandon Rios being as strong as he was and have the kind of energy Brandon Rios had that night. Seeing that, I feel like Danny Garcia wasn’t as prepared and ready for that fight as he should have been. I know that he’ll train much harder and be ready to fight me. So I don’t expect that kind of fight from Danny. I expect him to be able to punch back and fight back and not let me simply push him against the ropes and look lost. I thought in his fight against Brandon Rios, a majority of the time, he looked like he was second guessing himself and looked a little lost, like he wasn’t really sure what he wanted to do. I think a large part of that is because he didn’t really get himself pumped up for that fight. Again, I think he’ll be ready for me and I don’t expect him to look like he did in his last fight so I’m not going to pay too much attention to that,” Porter said.
To an extent, Garcia agrees with Porter in the sense that this wasn't Garcia's best performance. On a recent conference call, Garcia told Fightful that he gave his fight against Rios a B.
But the fight against Rios also added another layer to the theory around some in the boxing community that Garcia does not possess the same power at welterweight compared to his time as a junior welterweight world champion. When looking at Garcia the junior welterweight versus Garcia the welterweight, Porter doesn't seem convinced that he made all the necessary adjustments in order to retain the power that he had at 140 pounds.
“I tell you what, lots of guys lose weight to get to the weight they’re at. More than likely, Danny was fighting at 140 and he could have been anywhere between 150 and 160, possibly 170 pounds. Most guys do not live at the weight that they fight at. There’s very few of us that fight at the weight that they’re at. So for [Garcia] to move up in weight, it probably wasn’t that hard. The one thing that he may not have done, I don’t know, is get on a strengthening program. When you do move up a weight class, you need more strength. The reason being is that you’re not losing as much weight which means you’re carrying more fat, more muscle as well which means you need to tone that up and strengthen that. That may be something he did or did not do. But what I can say is that when guys typically move up, they aren’t just as strong as they did before. So it’s all about who you’re hitting at 140 and it may be guys who couldn’t stand up to him and at 147, outside of Brandon Rios, they’re all standing up to him,” Porter said.
Porter will get a chance to see for himself when he faces Garcia in the main event of a Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast at the Barclays Center.