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Danny Garcia can’t look past Peterson in main event at Barclays

April 8, 2015 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Unbeaten Danny “Swift” Garcia looked ripped and ready for Saturday night’s big bout against Lamont Peterson at the Barclays Center during Tuesday afternoon’s workout in Downtown Brooklyn. Photo Credits: Angela Cranford/Barclays Center
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Much has been made of the fact that there will be no world titles on the line when our borough’s unofficial house fighter, unbeaten Danny “Swift” Garcia, meets Lamont Peterson Saturday night in the main event of the 11th boxing card at Downtown Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

But there could actually be a lot more than belts at stake for both fighters, most notably Garcia, who will enter the squared circle for the fourth time at Barclays with a perfect 29-0 overall record, including 17 knockouts.

With the entire boxing world focused on the May 2 super bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Garcia may find himself in line for the biggest payday of his life against either legendary fighter, if of course, he can secure a win against Peterson.

“I would love to. Big money. I would love to,” Garcia, a native of Philadelphia, gushed earlier this week when asked whether a super bout of his own against either Mayweather or Pacquiao would be appealing. “That’s what boxing’s about, and that’s every fighters dream. To fight on that stage, of course for a lot of money, with all the exposure in the world.

“But it’s one fight at a time,” Garcia reminded everyone. “Every fighter gets their chance to eat. Everybody can’t get to the table at one time. I’m just taking it one fight at a time. That’s it, one fight at a time. I’m focused on the task at hand.”

The task at hand certainly isn’t designed to be a comfortable one for Garcia, who will meet Peterson at a catch-weight of 143 pounds, meaning his three super lightweight titles and Peterson’s IBF light welterweight crown will not change hands irregardless of the outcome Saturday.

It’s also likely the last time Garcia will fight under 147 pounds, especially if he wants to take on the best the sport has to offer and make the biggest available purses in future fights.

“I used to love other great Puerto Rican boxers like Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto and Hector Camacho,” Garcia said. “I feel like I’m definitely working my way up into the ranks with them and following their footsteps.

“I don’t think they’re taking me lightly,” insisted Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), who would greatly elevate his own stock by sticking Garcia with his first professional defeat. “At the end of the day, Garcia knows this is a fight and he knows he hasn’t fought anyone like me. I’m expecting a big victory Saturday night.”

So is NBC.

The network, which is determined to bring big-time boxing back to free television (if you can still call it that) will broadcast the Barclays fight card Saturday night beginning at 8:30 p.m.

It’s the second installment of the network’s Premier Boxing Champions on NBC series, and the first telecast live from Brooklyn’s new home for boxing.

With a win, Garcia can introduce himself to a national audience as boxing’s next big thing, boasting a perfect 30-0 and a willingness to take on all comers, including Mayweather or Pacquiao.

Don’t be the least bit surprised if those big names come up immediately following the bout.

“I just want to give fans a great fight,” he said during Tuesday afternoon’s open workout at the Barclays. “I’m not too worried about the ‘0’ on my record. I fight hard to protect it but my main focus is to go in there and get the job done one fight at a time.”

Garcia, who headlined the first boxing card at Barclays with a fourth-round stoppage of Mexican fight legend Erik Morales on Oct. 20, 2012, also posted a unanimous decision triumph over Brooklyn’s own Zab Judah on the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues on April 27, 2013.

He was here again this past August, scoring a second-round KO of Rod Salka in his last fight before facing Peterson.

“It’s an honor to be fighting back in Brooklyn where I’ve experienced some of the best moments of my career,” Garcia said.

The most notable common opponent shared by the two pugilists is Argentine Lucas Matthysse, whom Garcia beat as a heavy underdog in September 2013 and Peterson lost to via TKO earlier that same year.

But previous history has little to nothing to do with what will transpire inside the ring Saturday night, according to Peterson.

“People talk about him beating Matthysse and Matthysse beating me, but anyone who knows about boxing knows that doesn’t mean anything,” Peterson said. “Come Saturday night I will prove to everyone that I’m a better fighter than Danny Garcia.”

“I’ve faced a lot of skillful boxers in my career and I’m still undefeated,” added Garcia. “That should tell the fans around the world who has more skill. Come April 11, when he’s feeling these two bombs on his face, he’s going to forget about his skill.”

Also fighting on Saturday’s card is Manhattan native Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, who will look to improve to 32-0 and capture opponent Andy Lee’s middleweight title.

Staten Island light heavyweight Marcus Browne and Brooklyn’s own Luis Collazo will also be fighting on Saturday’s undercard.

“I’m just blessed to have this opportunity to fight at Barclays Center for the eighth time in front of my hometown fans,” noted Browne, who is looking to remain unbeaten. “I love performing in Brooklyn. The fans here are fantastic and they know when I get in the ring they’re going to see something special.”

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