Garcia looks to regain his Brooklyn mojo in title eliminator bout
Danny Garcia certainly knows the ropes at the Barclays Center, whether he’s scaling them in victory or slipping between them to leave the ring after a tough defeat.
The Philadelphia native of Puerto Rican descent will be fighting in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn for the eighth time Saturday night when he takes on Ivan Redkach in a WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator bout, a do-or-die match that will go a long way toward determining his future in the sport.
“This is a very important fight for me and my future,” Garcia told reporters during his workout at Brooklyn’s legendary Gleason’s Gym on Wednesday.
“My future starts on Saturday night,” he added. “I’ve already been in a lot of big fights in my career, so it’s nothing new to me. I know Redkach is hungry, but I know what it takes to win on this level and I’m hungry.”
Garcia (35-2) came to national prominence when he headlined the opening night of big-time boxing at Barclays back in 2012.
He scored a fourth-round knockout of Mexican legend Erik Morales that night and went on to win each of his first five visits to Brooklyn, including impressive victories over Lamont Peterson and Bensonhurst’s Paulie Malignaggi.
But that good fortune in the borough ended in 2017, when Garcia lost his WBC crown to Keith Thurman on a controversial split-decision at Barclays, his first career defeat.
After a bounce-back win against Brandon Rios in Nevada via TKO in 2018, Garcia returned to Barclays and suffered yet another stinging loss, this time to Shawn Porter via a unanimous decision that September.
Garcia, who will turn 32 in March, knows that this headline bout at Barclays may be his last if he doesn’t find a way to beat the 33-year-old Redkach (23-4-1), who is riding a three-fight winning streak into his Barclays debut.
And Garcia isn’t hiding his desperation going into the fight.
“As a veteran, you learn during every fight that you have. I’ve been the underdog and won, I’ve been the top dog and won and I’ve been in the biggest magnitude of fights,” Garcia said.
“You have to fight every fight like it’s your last, because it could be. You never know what’s going to happen. You have to be 100 percent, physically and mentally.”
Garcia is also eyeing future fights with some of boxing’s biggest stars, but that won’t occur without a victory over Redkach, the clear underdog in this bout when comparing resumes.
“Danny is already looking ahead to a fight with Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao, but before he gets to them, he picked me,” noted Redkach, who is hoping to snatch Garcia’s spot in the next round of eliminators.
“The biggest weakness I see in Danny is that he’s not taking this seriously,” added the Ukranian contender. “He’s counting on this as a tune-up fight, and that’s a big mistake. This is not going to be a tune-up fight for him.”
Whether it’s a tune-up or a comeback bout, Garcia will need to beat Redkach if he hopes to return to the realm of the top fighters in the game.
He also emphasized that reversing his two-bout losing streak here in Brooklyn was just as important.
“I feel like I have unfinished business here in Brooklyn,” Garcia said. “This is my house and I plan on making a statement in front of my fans on Saturday.”
Ring Notes: Though Garcia and Redkach will be the main event Saturday on the SHOWTIME-televised event at Barclays, there will also be an impressive undercard leading up to the big fight, including Jarrett Hurd vs. Francisco Santana in a 10-round super welterweight co-feature and a bantamweight title eliminator match between fellow undefeateds Stephen Fulton and Arnold Khegal.
Garcia has not fought since last April, when he scored a seventh-round TKO of Adrian Granados in Carson, California. Redkach’s last bout was a sixth-round TKO win over veteran Devon Alexander in San Jacinto, California in June.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
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