Moments after the win, as Showtime’s Jim Grey attempted to interview Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs), the Mandalay Bay ceremony was invaded by a gambling “Showtime” Shawn Porter – a Las Vegas native by way of Cleveland, Ohio – but more importantly, a former welterweight champion of the world, like Garcia.
“This is the ‘Danny Garcia Show,’” said Garcia to end the roughly 30-second long impromptu in-ring confrontation, setting up a future bout between the two.
The boxing world had to wait seven months since that February 18th moment, but on September 8 at Barclays Center the two rivals will meet for the vacant WBC World Welterweight Championship – a title once held by Garcia as recently as March 2017.
Locals featured on the undercard at Barclays include Amanda Serrano (34-1-1, 26 KOs), who is fighting for her record sixth world title in as many weight classes, undefeated heavyweight Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs), Chris Colbert (8-0, 3 KOs) and Richardson Hitchins (5-0, 3 KOs).
At the official July 30th press conference promoting the bout, Porter and Garcia sat side-by-side on the podium, again jawing at one another.
“I’m a very difficult opponent to prepare for, you never know what you’re going to get with me,” Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) said, eyeing Garcia from his left side as the Philadelphia native looked straight ahead.
Pre-fight antics are as much a war of pride than anything else. Neither man wanted to be outdone in July, just as much as neither will want to be outdone this coming Saturday.
For Garcia, who has had an elevated profile since 2012, it’s an opportunity to remain one of the brightest stars in the sports, despite one blemish on his record – a March 2017 Barclays Center loss to Keith Thurman for the same WBC Title to be contested this weekend, which was vacated by Thurman due to injury.
“I don’t see anything special in Shawn Porter,” remarked the talkative Angel Garcia, Danny’s trainer and father. “He comes wild. We’re going to take care of him, he’s not bringing anything to the table that I haven’t seen before.”
Porter, like Garcia, also lost to Thurman in a title bout in June 2016, also at Barclays Center, but the decision was debatable: Thurman won 115-113 on all three judges’ scorecards.
Garcia’s subsequent defeat was a split decision, winning 115-113 on one card; losing 116-112 and 115-113 on the other, though the result appeared less controversial.
Porter’s only other loss to a then-undefeated Kell Brook was also close: a majority decision by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114.
To avoid a third loss, and a potential career crossroads, Team Porter is relying on a signature showing in Brooklyn, where Porter’s record is 3-1. In Brooklyn, Garcia is 5-1 and fought in the first ever Barclays Center boxing card in October of 2012.
“They will not be prepared for us on fight night,” boasted the equally loquacious Kenny Porter, Shawn’s trainer and father. “We are doing a lot of things that we have never done before and we are excited about that. We’re going to make Danny adjust to us.”