Danny Garcia and Jose Benavidez Jr. promise fireworks in their July 30 clash
Two-division world champion and Brooklyn fan-favorite Danny “Swift” Garcia spoke of feeling reinvigorated from his time off, while exciting contender Jose Benavidez Jr. predicted that their junior middleweight showdown would be the “Fight of the Year” during a virtual press conference Tuesday before they square off on Saturday, July 30 live on Showtime from Barclays Center in Brooklyn headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The fighters were joined by their respective fathers and trainers Angel Garcia and Jose Benavidez Sr. during the virtual press conference.
For the former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Garcia, this fight marks his junior middleweight debut as he looks to move into contention in the stacked weight division.
Phoenix’s Benavidez, the older brother of unbeaten two-time super middleweight champion David Benavidez, can add a signature victory with a win and launch himself into the 154-pound title picture.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday:
“This is my 11th fight on Showtime and it’s been a journey creating history at Barclays Center, or wherever we fight. I’ve been off for a little bit, but I’m back in the gym like I never left. I feel great mentally, physically and spiritually. I’m ready to give the fans a great fight.
“I have a lot of young guys in this camp here with me and they keep me on my toes. The hunger that they have, gives me that motivation. Boxing is a grueling sport, so you have to find time to have fun. I’m doing that again and I know that once I’m happy, no one can touch me.
“I’ve been fighting at 140 and 147 since the amateurs, for 13 years. I always felt my natural weight was bigger and I was squeezing down. I feel like this weight fits me good. I feel young and fresh. I’m strong and with a lot more stamina.
“I have a lot of Mexican fans and they love me wherever I go. The Latinos love me period. When Danny Garcia steps in the ring, he represents all the Latinos. I love all the fans from all around the world.
“I’m going to go in there and fight my fight. I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself. I’m going to fight the Danny Garcia fight. I have to use all my tools and all my skills and get the win.
“I felt the atmosphere at Barclays Center at the Gervonta Davis fight and I felt what I was missing. I went there to feel that motivation and it was great. We’re going to give everyone a great night just like at that last fight.
“I was in the first main event at Barclays Center and I’ve been building a fanbase there over the last 10 years. Brooklyn is the perfect place to build a fanbase and I’m honored to be a part of Barclays Center’s history.
“I’ve been fighting at the highest level for the last 10 years. It’s only right as a human that you would get a little mentally tired. I needed a break so that I could miss boxing. I knew that once I came back in the gym motivated and missing the sport, that nobody could beat Danny Garcia.
“You can’t just fight to learn. You have to watch and see these young guys in the gym training. I needed time to feel good again and I feel great. The results are looking really good. When I’m happy, I’m a dangerous man.
“Every fight you learn from. Even when you win. You just have to take what you can, learn from it and use it in the next fight. The fight with Errol Spence Jr. was a competitive and fun fight and we’re ready to move on to the next step.”
JOSE BENAVIDEZ JR.
“A win over Danny Garcia is a big step for me. The winner of this fight is going to go back up in the rankings. We’ve both lost before and I think that’s made us stronger fighters. We’ve learned from our mistakes. We’re going to be throwing bombs all night long. Stay tuned, because this is going to be Fight of the Year, I guarantee that.
“I want to thank Danny for giving me this opportunity. He’s a great champion, a power-puncher and I’m ready. I’ve been training hard and I’m ready to get it on.
“I take every fight as if I’m fighting the best of the best. I don’t focus on the record or anything. I just focus on what I have to do. The Puerto Rican and Mexican fans are going to be out there and it’s going to be a great show. I’m training hard and I’d be ready to go tomorrow.
“Danny Garcia is one of the best of the best. I felt like Danny Garcia was a bigger name than a possible Erislandy Lara fight, so that’s why I chose him. I grew up watching Danny and I’ve wanted to fight him for a while. This is going to be fireworks.
“I was too focused on trying to knock the guy out in my last fight. I just have to stick to my game plan and do what I do best. I feel a lot stronger and more mature now. The knockout is going to come on its own. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to end the night victorious.
“My last opponent was just running and running, and I’m looking forward to going toe-to-toe with Danny. I’m staying in shape and I’m focused. I hit hard, he hits hard, so there’s going to be a knockout whether we look for it or not.
“I want to fight the best of the best. I don’t duck or dodge anyone. I don’t care about the record. I train to win. This is an interesting fight with Danny and it’s a fight the fans are going to want to see. Danny was the perfect pick for this opponent.
“I know what I’m capable of and I know what I can do. The most important thing is staying focused in training. I feel like this is the most motivated I’ve been since the beginning of my career. I’m working hard for my daughters. It’s not about me anymore.”
ANGEL GARCIA, Danny’s Father and Trainer
“Danny is perfect for 154 pounds. It’s a new era for him, and it’s time. There’s a time for everything and our time is now. We have a perfect opponent who’s going to come bring the fight to us. He’s got the Mexican blood and we’ve got the Puerto Rican blood, so it’s going to be fireworks on July 30.
“Danny is ready for 154. He’s ready for all the big names. We don’t run from anybody. A lot of those fighters talk a lot, well now we’re here for them.
JOSE BENAVIDEZ SR., Jose’s Father and Trainer
“It’s an honor to go up against Danny Garcia and his dad. He’s one of my favorite fighters, but at the end of the day, we have to put work in. We’ve been working hard, because we’re going to give the fans what they want. I’m predicting a knockout. We need a knockout to progress in the rankings. Jose has to not just win the fight, but he has to look impressive. Both fighters need this fight.
“Danny has a great left hook and he’s very powerful. We’ve seen what he’s done and we know what we’re getting into. We’re facing an animal, but we’re ready to give the people what they want.
“Jose Jr. has matured a lot and he’s ready. He’s motivated to give his kids a better life. When I see how motivated Jr. is, it motivates me too. We’re ready to give everyone what they want. Someone is getting knocked out.
“I know Danny is coming in very strong, but we’re giving the fans what they deserve. We’re aiming to give everyone the Fight of the Year. We have to be impressive. I know the Garcias are training very hard, but we need this fight. We have to give it our all.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President of SHOWTIME SPORTS
“We’re thrilled to welcome Danny Garcia back to Showtime, as well as Jose Benavidez Jr. These are two all-action fighters bringing a great matchup of styles to this bout.
“For Showtime and Danny, this is a bit of a throwback. It was almost 10 years ago in October 2012 when Danny headlined the first fight card at Barclays Center and headlined his first time on Showtime. It’s not an exaggeration to say that he’s been instrumental in helping Barclays Center build the profile that they have and establish it as a real home of boxing on the East Coast.
“Danny is one of the most exciting and popular fighters of his generation. He’s fought everyone and anyone. His resume speaks for itself. True to form, in his first fight at 154-pounds, he was not looking for an easy fight. And he has a very worthy challenger in front of him in Jose Benavidez Jr.
“Benavidez is a tough, experienced fighter with a lot of experience and a lot of KOs. He’s going to bring a fan-friendly style. These are two exciting fighters who can do it all. With these styles and the intensity that they bring, this is going to be one of the most exciting fights of the summer.
“These fighters are both trained skillfully by their fathers, with Angel and Jose Sr. having guided their sons their whole careers. Add in Adam Kownacki and Gary Antuanne Russell on the Showtime televised card and this will be a night full of action and worthy of the high standard Showtime and Barclays Center have set.”
A press release by Showtime was used in this article.