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DANNY GARCIA ON LUCAS MATTHYSSE: "HE'S FIGHTING A WHOLE DIFFERENT ANIMAL...I'M THE BETTER FIGHTER"

By Ben Thompson | August 19, 2013
DANNY GARCIA ON LUCAS MATTHYSSE:

"He's fighting a whole different animal this fight and he's going to know it that night. I'm gonna do whatever I gotta do to win, you understand. If that's what I gotta do, then that's what I gotta do...He knocked out people he was supposed to knock out, you know what I'm saying, and I knocked out people I wasn't supposed to knock out, so if you look at it that way, I'm the better fighter...To be honest with you, I have no pressure going into this fight. I'm just relaxed, I'm calm, and I don't have no pressure on me. He's the one who's got a lot behind him. He's the one that's gotta prove to the world. I ain't gotta prove nothing. He's the one that's hyped up right now, so I'm just going in there and being me," stated undefeated WBC & WBA jr. welterweight champion Danny Garcia, who talked about his upcoming September 14 showdown with top challenger Lucas Matthysse. Check out what else he had to say about the fight, Matthysse, and much more!

BT: What's up, DSG?

DG: What's up, man? How you doing?

BT: Just trying to stay on my grind like you.

DG: (Laughing) Yeah, I just got done working out.

BT: I heard. That's wassup. So tell us about it! September 14! Garcia vs. Matthysse! You're the unified, undisputed jr. welterweight champion of the world and you're in the driver's seat. You didn't necessarily have to face Matthysse, yet you insisted on making this fight. In fact, according to Leonard Ellerbe and Richard Schaefer, you guys were blowing up Al Haymon's phone to get this fight. Why was this particular fight so important to you?

DG: I mean, it's the fight that the media wanted, it's the fight that the network wanted, and it's the fight that the fans wanted. It's what everybody wanted, so that's what I wanted. He's got enough buzz right now. I mean, he came up with a couple of victories, so his name is buzzing right now in the boxing world. They got excited over his couple of knockouts. You know how the momentum is in boxing; the fans, the media, when they see somebody do good, they automatically get all hype and they jump on top of them. They made it a big thing, so the same way they made it a big thing, they had to come with everything I wanted. You know, they wanted to make a big fight, so you have to come with the big money to have a big fight. The money had to be right, everything had to be right, and it was, so, you know, we made it a big fight.

BT: When they came to you with the fight, did you know they had plans to put it on Floyd Mayweather's pay-per-view?

DG: Nah, I think my original date was September 7th, but the negotiations was taking long, so it forced it to another date. If I would've forced it to another date, then this fight would've never happened; I would've fought somebody else, so they had to put it on the Floyd card.

BT: Where were you when you got the word that the fight was a done deal?

DG: I think I was in the gym. They accepted the fight and Sam [Watson] called my dad and said it was on. So I was in the gym when they told me it was official. We talked later that night to go over all the details and it was a go from there.

BT: Obviously you guys have done pleny of homework on Matthysse. What kind of fight are you expecting from him come September 14?

DG: Um, you know, he comes forward, he's strong, he's a pretty good counter puncer; he tries to catch you on the end of his punches. You know, he's a good fighter and I'm not taking nothing away from him. He's good and I'm great, and that's going to be the difference that night.

BT: He's got two losses to Judah and Alexander, who used a specific game plan against him. I'm sure you guys have studied those tapes. Seeing how they handled Matthysse, does that change the way you might  approach this fight as far as your own game plan is concerned? Obviously I don't expect you to give away your game plan, but I ask that just because I know you can box a lot more than you've shown in recent fights.

DG: Um, you know, I know they did outbox him and they gave him some problems. I can do the same thing, but he's fighting a whole different type of animal this fight. You can take away from it and learn off of it and look at what gave him problems, you know, angles and a little bit of movement, but he's fighting a whole different animal this fight and he's going to know it that night. I'm gonna do whatever I gotta do to win, you understand. If that's what I gotta do, then that's what I gotta do. It's easy to say that because I'm not in the fight yet, but let's see what happens when the fight unfolds and I gotta make my adjustments and get the job done like a champion.

BT: How's everything been going with the drug testing. You've already had a couple of tests, right?

DG: Yeah, I took two tests the last two weeks. You know, the protocol is when I get tested, he gets tested. So far, everything's good.

BT: Do they give you any proof, like some type of documentation showing that he's been tested, or do you just have to trust that they're doing it based on the fact that they said it's protocol?

DG: They don't give you proof until after the fight. They email you all the test dates, so you won't know until after the fight. When I fought Khan, when I fought Morales, when I fought Judah, we all took USADA tests and when they emailed it back to me, we all did the same amount of tests.

BT: Did the experience you went through in the Morales fight, with him failing those tests, make you realize even more just how important this is for you guys to be participating in these stricter testing procedures?

DG: Man, it's real important just to keep the sport clean. At the end of the day, you're fighting and it's very important to have no advantages because people can die in the ring. It's happened in the past, you know. Fighters juice up or they do anything just to get the upper advantage and somebody could die. So it's important just to clean up the sport and give our sport a good name. It's very important, but every fighter can't do it because they might not have the politics behind them or they might not be the champ, and if you're not the champ, you can't make no calls.

BT: You were at Matthysse's last fight when he knocked out Peterson. It was a good knockout, but it was nothing you haven't seen before or actually done yourself. Is it...

DG: (Cutting in) When I do it, it's lucky.

BT: (Laughing) You took the words right out of my mouth. For whatever reason, some folks in the media don't really want to give you the same type of credit that they give Matthysse. I don't really understand that.

DG: Yeah, I don't either. That's why I really don't get caught up in the media. Like I said before, they pick who they want to win and when it don't go that way, they make up excuses why you won. That's why I don't even feed into that.

BT: No doubt. But are you surprised at how the media has chosen to paint Matthysse as some sort of indestructable knockout artist based on what he did to opponents like Peterson, Jones, and Ajose, yet they don't seem to paint that same picture of you, despite the fact that you're the one who is undefeated and looked just as or even more devastating against the likes of Morales and Khan.

DG: You know how the media is, man. They tend to hop on the foreign people. They hype them up. It's just the way the politics of the sport is, you know. Like I said, if somebody gets a quick knockout, they hop on top of them and hype them up. He knocked out people he was supposed to knock out, you know what I'm saying, and I knocked out people I wasn't supposed to knock out, so if you look at it that way, I'm the better fighter. Everybody they put in front of him, he was supposed to beat. Even when they did put fighters in front of him he was supposed to beat, he lost.

BT: The irony though is that you are the best in the division right now, yet you have some media outlets, like Ring Magazine, who would rather feature Matthysse on their cover, or ESPN, who have him ranked ahead of you.

DG: I really don't care what kind of credit I get. I'm just in my own lane. I'm doing my own thing and I'm just going to continue to keep winning and proving to the world that I'm the best. That's some disrespect, but it's cool; I ain't worried about that. I don't buy that magazine anyway.

BT: (Laughing) I was talking to Andre Ward the other day about that kind of disrespect and he told me it keeps a chip on his shoulders and helps make him a better fighter. Do you look at it the same way, like it's an advantage when you step into the ring?

DG: No doubt. It keeps you motivated. As far as Andre Ward, I feel that he's one of the most underated champions in boxing. I mean, he's rated high in the pound-for-pound, but as far as exposure and people knowing him and the fan base, he's definitely underated. He's definitely one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. But yeah, it definitely keeps me motivated, keeps me hungry, keeps me strong, and it just makes me keep winning. To be honest with you, I have no pressure going into this fight. I'm just relaxed, I'm calm, and I don't have no pressure on me. He's the one who's got a lot behind him. He's the one that's gotta prove to the world. I ain't gotta prove nothing. He's the one that's hyped up right now, so I'm just going in there and being me.

BT: Let me ask you about your dad real quick. I know some people question whether or not he's a distraction to you based on some of things he might say, but I kind of view him as the perfect compliment to you; the ying to your yang if you will. It's like you handle the business of fighting inside the ring while he handles the business of promoting outside of the ring. Do you prefer for the dynamics to be like that, where he does the talking while you back it up with the fighting?

DG: Yeah, no doubt. That's just the way he is, to be honest with you. Even right now he's talking. I can't say nothing to him. That's just the way he is. I just let him be himself and I just be me. I can't tell somebody what to say just because other people don't like it. That's their problem. I don't have no problem with it, so it's perfectly fine with me. I just let him be him. He speaks his truth. Sometimes the politics is bullshit, but at the end of the day, when you in the ring, the politics don't matter no more. He just tries to speak up for all the fighters who really deserve it, and that's about it, and I don't have no problem with it.

BT: That's wassup. Well I don't have a problem with it either because a lot of what he says is true (laughing). Well Danny, I know you just got done working out, so I don't want to keep you any longer. Is there anything else you have to say before I let you go?

DG: September 14th, expect another great performance, an explosive performance by me, and at the end of the fight, I'm gonna have my hand raised and still be undefeated champ of the world.

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