The path back to becoming a champion for Danny Garcia includes a bout this Saturday night vs. Brandon Rios in Las Vegas.
Garcia, who lost the WBC welterweight title to Keith Thurman last March, looks to rebound when he meets Rios live on Showtime. The loss was the first in 34 career fights for the former two-division world champion.
The winner between Garcia and Rios becomes the second mandatory challenger to Thurman after he defends his title against Shawn Porter once fully recovered from injuries.
“At the end of the day, everyone at welterweight has to prove themselves. The pieces will fall into place. Eventually we’ll all fight each other. I’m just going to keep taking it one fight at a time,” said Garcia last week during an open workout event. “I’m excited to get back in the ring. I feel rejuvenated. My body feels fresh. Training camp has gone really well and now it’s time to get in there and go to work.
“I learned from the Keith Thurman fight not to leave anything in the hands of the judges. It was a close fight that could have gone either way. I have to go for the kill, so it is what it is.”
Garcia captured the WBC welterweight belt with a 2016 decision win over Robert Guerrero. He also holds victories over Paulie Malignaggi, Lamont Peterson and Zab Judah on his resume. He held the WBA (super), WBC and The Ring light welterweight titles for four years.
“Once you’re a champion, you’re always a champion. On February 17 I’m going to show everyone why I’m one of the best fighters in the world,” he said. “I’ve had my best performances in Las Vegas against Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse. Las Vegas is where the stars fight so I’m happy to be fighting there again. “I’ve been preparing for everything. I’ve been working on boxing and brawling; it’ll just depend how I feel when the fight starts. I’m going to be ready for 12 rounds regardless.”
Saturday’s card also features David Benavidez vs. Ronald Gavril for the super middleweight belt and Yordenis Ugas vs. Ray Robinson in an IBF 147-pound title eliminator.