"This is what it is all about, the best fighting the best and March 4th, I look forward to being the new unified champion...I know I'm the better fighter and I'm going to prove it on March 4th...I've been hit before; he's never been hit by a puncher. I don't think he's ever faced a big puncher in his career. This is the first time he's faced a real puncher that punches from every angle and hits hard, so it's the other way around. I've been in there with big hitters and that don't win fights," stated undefeated welterweight champion Danny Garcia, who spoke in-depth about his upcoming title unification showdown with fellow undefeated welterweight champion Keith Thurman. Check it out!
PC: How are you doing, DG?
DG: I'm doing good. I just got done working out and I feel good.
PC: March 4th on CBS, the stage keeps getting bigger and bigger. You guys have a combined record of 60-0. This is what boxing is all about my man.
DG: That's right! This is what it is all about, the best fighting the best and March 4th, I look forward to being the new unified champion.
PC: You have felt like you were the best fighter in the world since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather and you also felt that you would unify the welterweight division. What would it mean to you to make that come to fruition?
DG: Ah man, it would be another milestone in my career, to prove that I'm the best welterweight in the world. Not only just the best welterweight, but one of the best pound-for-pound, if not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I have one of the best resumes and I would have unified two of the hardest divisions in boxing, the junior welterweight and welterweight division, and beat some of the most notable fighters out there. It would mean a lot to me.
PC: When you think back to when you were an amateur to where you are now, did you think it would take longer to reach this stage? Did you think you would have reached it by now or is this the time and place where you belong in your career right now?
DG: You know, I've always envisioned myself being a sports star, a champion, a superstar and this goes back to when I was a little kid. I always wanted to be a famous athlete. I want to say it happened so quickly, but I see everything as we go and it's like I'm living in the moment and it's a dream come true.
PC: Do you have any expectations heading into the fight as to how this fight is going to play out or are you approaching this thing like it's an open book?
DG: It just depends on how it goes. I gotta go in there and take it one round at a time and make adjustments and get the momentum and work each round like it's my last. I really can't tell you how it's going to go because it ain't happened yet, but I'm going to go in there and make adjustments and do what I do best.
PC: The old adage is never hook with a hooker and both of you guys have pretty good hooks. When I look at what Amir Khan said and some other fighters who are picking you to win, they point to the precision and timing as the key as opposed to the power or force that's coming behind it. Do you see that as a key factor to separating you from Keith Thurman as opposed to the power behind those punches?
DG: Yeah, definitely! I'm the more complete boxer, I'm the more seasoned fighter, and I'm the more experienced fighter. I've been in there with a lot of great champions. I work hard every day in the gym and I have dedicated myself to the sport of boxing my whole life. So everything that you see in the ring is just a vision of who I am and the picture I painted. I know I'm the better fighter and I'm going to prove it on March 4th!
PC: You have faced and been hit by some pretty big punchers. Do you feel the Thurman camp, and even fans and media, are putting too much into the notion that once he touches you with something significant that the course of the fight will change?
DG: I think it's the opposite way around, to be honest with you. I've been hit before; he's never been hit by a puncher. I don't think he's ever faced a big puncher in his career. This is the first time he's faced a real puncher that punches from every angle and hits hard, so it's the other way around. I've been in there with big hitters and that don't win fights.
PC: It seems to me that you are more relaxed for this promotion; maybe it's just where you are in your career and in your life or you made a conscious decision to just have fun and smile throughout.
DG: Yeah, definitely! At the end of the day, you gotta have fun with what you do. This is my job. I never show weakness. My job is to have fun, smile, and fight and that's what I do.
PC: This is a fight that's been brewing for a long time. It was announced after your last fight, which was back in November, so fans have really been able to wrap their minds around this thing happening. With that being said, any nerves kicking in for you or are you starting to get anxious about getting in there and letting the hands fly?
DG: I just gotta keep my composure and keep my mind right. I'm already in shape. I would say I'm getting anxious to get in the ring. I get anxious sometimes because I feel like I'm already ready. But I gotta take it one day at a time. I've been here already and come March 4th, we gotta bring all of the tricks out.
PC: This will be your fourth fight at welterweight, so I'm sure you feel like a full-fledged welterweight now and the timing of this fight seems to be perfect for you for that reason.
DG: Yeah, I have definitely grown into the division. To be honest with you, when I was fighting junior welterweight, I was basically a welterweight. I was squeezing myself down to junior welterweight because I was a champion and I didn't want to give up my belts. But I've been a welterweight for a long time and I'm glad I finally decided to move up.
PC: Was that a difficult decision to make, because most fighters lose or lose consistently or consecutively and that prompts them to move up or down? Was it difficult to leave that division and your belts behind to move on to bigger and better things?
DG: Yeah, that's what it is. It was time to move on. I feel like I beat everybody they put in front of me. I beat everybody at 140 and I couldn't hold the weight no more, so there was no point of holding on to the old; it was on to the new.
PC: Every time in the past that you were perceived to be afraid of a fighter or the perception was that you were ducking a fighter, not only did you take the fight, but you made a statement in those fights in most cases.
DG: (Cutting in) I'm never afraid of nobody. At the end of the day, the media puts that out there, but I will fight anybody anywhere. That's how I have always been throughout my career. But this is just another fight for my legacy and another fight for my career and we ready for it.
PC: Your dad has perfected the art of getting under your opponent's skin and Keith Thurman is basically saying he offended and disrespected a lot of people. At the end of the day, no matter what Angel Garcia said, Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman are going to fight on March 4th and that's just what it is.
DG: Exactly! At the end of the day, it's a fight. What was said was said, it is what it is, and if it hurt his feelings, oh well. At the end of the day, we gotta fight anyway. My pops is not the one fighting, so it is what it is.
PC: Is there any fight in particular, and you don't have to reveal it if so, but is there any fight in particular that you have studied the most or that you're taking the most from of Thurman or are you watching several of them collectively and going from there with a strategy?
DG: I did my homework on a few of them and we see what bothers him, what makes him uncomfortable, and the things he has a problem adjusting to. We got a good game plan and we are going to go in there and fight a smart fight.
PC: I feel like we don't know which Danny Garcia we are going to get because we have seen you fight in a few different ways and styles. Do you think that is your advantage heading into this fight?
DG: Exactly! Like I said, that's what makes me a great champion. I'm able to adapt and fight differently every time. We know what he's going to do, unless he wants to sit there and fight toe-to-toe, but I doubt that.
PC: We are getting there, we are at the mid-way point of February and you guys are rumbling the first week of March. Physically, how do you feel?
DG: Physically, I feel great, I feel strong, and I feel good and it's almost go time.
PC: You always have the same people around you in your camp and most seem to be family or people that you consider family. How important is that to have that comradery and closeness around you while preparing for battle?
DG: It's very important for me to keep the same people around and be loyal to my team. We got the same people that we started with and we're going to finish with them. I'm definitely family oriented. I keep my daughter around, my little sisters and my mom, so everything is basically the same.
PC: There will be so many eyes on this fight and some will be watching boxing for the first time and some will be tuning into the sport for the first time in a long time. What do you want those fans, as well as diehard fans, to walk away from this fight saying about Danny "Swift" Garcia? What impression do you want to leave on them?
DG: I'm just going to go in there and be Danny Garcia. I'm going to be me and fight a smart fight. I'm definitely not going to go in there and try nothing stupid and try to impress people. I'm going to do what got me here and that's just me being Danny Garcia and me being the fighter I am and the discipline that I have and that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to go in there and fight a disciplined fight and I know the fans are going to love it.
PC: It seems to me that your motto is you will always find a way to win. Is that the motto or approach for this fight?
DG: We are going to go in there and dictate the pace, we are going to control the fight, and we going to get the clean victory.
PC: I always appreciate the time. Best of luck on March 4th and we will speak after the fight. Is there anything else you want to add before I let you go?
DG: Nothing much, man, just thank you. I appreciate it and everybody tune in March 4th!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]