"I seen a few of his fights. I watched them and went over it and tried to find his weaknesses and go in there and destroy him. I just gotta go in there and be me. From the opening round, I won't show no respect and go in there and hurt him...This fight means a lot to me, man. It's a professional fight on a high level on a big network like Showtime at the Barclays Center with Danny Garcia headlining it. It's just another milestone in my career, another highlight, and I just gotta go in there and get the job done...I think it's important for me to go in there and look good. I gotta be on my A game and I just gotta look good. It is all about winning, don't get me wrong, but August 9th, I gotta look good while winning...Now that he's got his opportunity, I gotta go in there and just destroy his dreams," stated unified jr. welterweight champion Danny Garcia, who talked about his upcoming August 9 clash with Rod Salka. Check out what he had to say about the fight, some of the criticism it's received, and much more!
PC: How is everything going leading up to your August 9th fight against Rod Salka?
DG: I feel good, man. Camp is going tremendous and a week out, I feel great. I can't wait to go in there and perform.
PC: From what Matt tells me, you have really been secluded and into this camp. Do you feel you have to make a big statement in this fight?
DG: Yeah, no doubt, man. I've been training extremely hard; I've been sparring hard and running hard. I have been real disciplined, man, and for me, it's just another obstacle in my life that I have to overcome.
PC: People that really know boxing knew Mauricio Herrera wouldn't be an easy fight for you. When you look back at that fight, do you feel Herrera over-achieved or is he as good as he showed?
DG: He fought a good fight and I can't take nothing away from him, but he didn't beat me like a lot of people said he did. It was a good fight, he had a good strategy and made it an ugly fight, but I watched the fight 3 times and I seen it 8 to 4 in my favor all 3 times. But it was a good fight and it was a championship fight; every championship fight gonna be hard. Every championship fight is gonna be hard; none of them are gonna be easy, so I had to go out there as the champion and make adjustments.
PC: Do you feel like you are at the level to where if your opponent looks better than expected or wins 4 or 5 rounds convincingly, people will assume you lost?
DG: I don't know, man, to be honest with you. With the look in boxing, you just never know how people grade you or put you out in the media. Some fighters get the love treatment and some fighters get the hard treatment, so I don't know. I guess that's the way my career has always been. I'm always looked at as the underdog that never gets enough credit or I didn't do enough. I guess that's the luck I have, but at the end of the day, I always find a way to win and as long as I'm winning, they can't say nothing.
PC: Have you been able to find a lot on Salka?
DG: I seen a few of his fights. I watched them and went over it and tried to find his weaknesses and go in there and destroy him. I just gotta go in there and be me. From the opening round, I won't show no respect and go in there and hurt him.
PC: From what you have seen of him, do you expect him to be elusive or for him to sit in the pocket a little bit?
DG: I'm not really sure what he's gonna do. It looks like he's a boxer, but he might try to come in there and come at me. I gotta be prepared for whatever.
PC: People will look for you to move up to 147 soon and be in some huge fights. Before that happens, you have to cross this bridge. What does this fight mean to you?
DG: This fight means a lot to me, man. It's a professional fight on a high level on a big network like Showtime at the Barclays Center with Danny Garcia headlining it. It's just another milestone in my career, another highlight, and I just gotta go in there and get the job done.
PC: I'm sure it was an honor and pleasure for you to fight in Puerto Rico, but has some of that pressure been stripped off being back at Barclays?
DG: Yeah, I would say so. It was no limits for me out there. It was my show; I could do whatever I want. I can meet this person or bring this person in the ring. It was all love out there and it was hard to separate the business and the pleasure and the whole nine. But everything is a learning experience and it only made me stronger.
PC: How would you describe this camp as opposed to your Herrera camp?
DG: Ah man, this camp right here has been one of my best camps. I don't always say that, but everything has went so well. In fact, camp never goes all well because you have your days where you feel real tired from running or you feel weak from sparring, and everything just came together like a puzzle and I'm getting more seasoned and getting more prepared.
PC: Like you stated earlier, you have always found a way to win. Is this fight just about winning for you or do you feel you have to put this guy down a few times or stop him?
DG: I think it's important for me to go in there and look good. I gotta be on my A game and I just gotta look good. It is all about winning, don't get me wrong, but August 9th, I gotta look good while winning.
PC: Hank Lundy is one of many guys that's recently said your name. When you hear about all of these call-outs, is that motivation for you or irritation?
DG: Man, I know why them guys calling me out. They just want to get a check. They don't want to win, they just wanna get a check. That's all they want. At the end of the day, they know I'm the man at 140 and I was blessed to be in a position to give fighters big paydays and myself a good payday, but at the end of the day, you gotta earn it like I did. I beat top fighters and the guys who were considered top in the division. Who did he beat, you know what I'm saying? At the end of the day, you gotta earn your spot in the game. You can't talk your way up; you gotta earn it.
PC: Salka has been very confident in his ability to pull off the upset. What is your take on some of his words?
DG: I expected him to be like this. He's a guy that is confident and hungry and wanted his opportunity. Now that he's got his opportunity, I gotta go in there and just destroy his dreams.
PC: Are you mentally prepared to get everyone's best? Seems that is the way guys are coming at the champions now, with a nothing to lose attitude.
DG: Yeah, I'm prepared, man. I'm prepared for everything. At the end of the day, it's hard to go out and back to back to back give people classic performances. I've been a champ almost 3 years already and I can say my momentum going into every fight got better. But it's hard to perform every fight A-1, but in this fight, I'm gonna go in there and get momentum and I'm gonna win in spectacular fashion.
PC: Do you feel you are a victim of the Matthysse fight? That fight was so good and brutal that fans expect that every time out, when in actuality, that's not possible.
DG: Yeah, no doubt. Like if I was to fight the fight the fans want every fight, my career would probably be over in 2 or 3 years. I'll be done 3 years from now because it takes a toll on you when you fight back to back to back competitive fights like that. It's impossible for any fighters to fight top level fighters and hard punching fighters every single fight out, but at the end of the day, I gotta be prepared for whatever.
PC: Do you feel like there is a misperception about you out there? Because you get a lot of unwarranted hate. What is it about you (laughing)?
DG: I don't know, maybe because I'm handsome and I'm not an ugly dude (laughing). I don't know, dog, to be honest with you. It is what it is, to be honest with you. I don't lose sleep over none of this, how people look at me or the names they call me or how they criticize me, because at the end of the day, I'm a fighter. Anybody just can't be a fighter. And I'm a top level fighter. I made my dreams come true, so if you're criticizing me, just make sure you're doing what you wanna do in life. Make sure your life is good because I accomplished things that a lot of people never do in life, so I'm happy where I'm at, no matter what nobody thinks about me.
PC: You just said a mouthful my man, so I'll end it on that. I appreciate the time. Best of luck to you on August 9th. Is there anything else you wanna add?
DG: I just want to say thank you to all of the fans and I hope they tune in because I'm calling August 9th Team DSG, the official Purge!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]