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Danny Garcia on Brandon Rios, Terence Crawford, and more

Danny Garcia discusses a bevy of welterweight topics.

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

On beating Lucas Matthysse in his last fight in Las Vegas

“That was a big win. That was a big night. I’m just happy to have been a part of it in boxing history. That was a great fight, that was a great win. I think I showed who I was that night.”

On gaining confidence after beating Matthysse

“It’s just a part of growing. A lot of people felt that way about me, like, does he belong there? Is he really a true champion? I showed it that night. That was it. I never got nervous after that fight. That was probably the last time I ever got nervous before a fight.

“I get nervous, but that was a different type of nervous. It was like the whole world was against me type of nervous, like, pressure. I would say pressure. When no one in the world thinks you’re gonna win, you really have to believe in yourself that you’re gonna win. That night I believed in myself 100 percent. Then when I won the fight, I was, like, ‘I did that shit.’ It was one of the best feelings I had in my career. I never felt that pressure ever again.”

“Matthysse was a way more dangerous fight than the Thurman fight. You’re talking about a guy who’s got punching power in both hands, he comes to fight, and he’s got a solid chin. He was just knocking everybody out left and right. They put me in there, ‘Let’s see what you got, Danny.’”

On losing to Keith Thurman

“To be honest with you, it was kinda, like, I got used to being at the top. I just felt like, I thought no one could beat me. And I think that caught up to me. That’s one thing I can say, like, damn, never get too comfortable. I was in great shape, I had a great camp, I had the tune-up in Philly. Everything was perfect. I just could’ve done a little better. That’s it.”

On returning to Las Vegas

“It feels good. There’s something special about Vegas. I like fighting here. It gives me a great feeling, the atmosphere, everything. I’m just excited to be back in the ring, period.”

On not fighting Shawn Porter

“That never got offered to me. Never. Shawn Porter never got offered to me. The phone never rang. Never. Not even when he fought those two fights. I wasn’t even thinking about boxing. They knew not to call me.

“I said, ‘Hey, Al, I’m taking a break.’ He said, ‘Danny, go play some basketball, enjoy your life. You’ve been fighting for a long time, you need to be a regular person for a little bit.’ That was it. There were no phone calls about boxing, about me fighting him or anything. It was more him trying to use my name to promote his fights.”

On taking time off

“There were really no injuries. Physically, mentally a little bit, I just needed to be a regular person. I had like a big bald spot right here. It just fell off. I think it was from training, thinking too much. Basically my immune system got confused. It’s called alopecia or whatever. I fought the fight in Philly, I fought the fight after that. That seven month span was nothing but training, media, family, it was just too much. Let me just calm down real quick, take some time off, come back in 2018, healthy, healed, a good head on our shoulders.”

More on the Thurman fight

“I always say make sure you do everything right. You don’t wanna wake up the next morning saying I should’ve done something else. Make sure you get the job done. I watched the fight a few times. It was a good fight. I think I did enough to win the fight, but it’s, like, if you really look at it, he didn’t do nothing to me and I didn’t do nothing to him. It was that type of fight. It was what it was. I just put it behind me and come back stronger, and that’s it.”

On Terence Crawford coming up in weight

“That’s a fight I’d like. He’s a guy coming up from 140 to 147, he wants to test his skills. He has to win the Horn fight, though. Don’t sleep on that kid. He’s awkward. Threw Manny Pacquiao’s timing way off. Beat Pacquiao. Like, that’s a great win. ... [Horn] came to fight. He came to fight. He hit him with some good shots and threw his timing off. I give him respect for that. They gave it to him. He won.”

On potentially facing Crawford

“He’s been [switching] since the amateurs. He’s a mentally strong kid. Basically, you just beat him. I can’t tell you how to beat somebody. Just go in there and beat them. He’s a mentally strong kid, you gotta be mentally strong to beat him. There’s ways you can beat him. I’m great at fighting southpaws and right-handers. A lot of people, they don’t know how to fight southpaws, they freeze up. It’s the same to me. I got great timing against southpaws, I got power, and I got the mental strength. I like that fight for me.”

On February 17 against Brandon Rios

“I just gotta go in there and be Danny Garcia, mentally and physically strong. I gotta fight a smart fight. I can’t get caught up in no dumb stuff. I wanna use my jab a little more. I got a great job, I feel like I don’t use it enough. Just put all my skills on the table and get the victory.”

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