By Joseph Santoliquito
Las Vegas, NV (CBS) — The MGM Grand is bristling with activity. Media from all over the world fill rows of the press room, and they’re all waiting for the kid from Philly whose name was once bypassed after he won amateur tournaments.
The microphones jut at Danny Garcia from every direction, all hoping and anticipating something shocking from him.
They’re all left dry. Apparently linguistic genetics must skip a generation, because Danny’s father Angel, certainly has no strainer when he speaks.
Danny usually sits back and lets his dad pontificate and explode. Danny handles the fighting.
He’s faced with a looming challenge Saturday night, when Garcia, the WBC/WBA light welterweight world champion with a pristine 26-0 (16 KOs) record, takes on truth machine Lucas Matthysse, 34-2 (22), on the main undercard feature of “The One,” highlighting Floyd Mayweather against Canelo Alvarez from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Against Matthysse, Garcia is a 2-to-1 underdog and not many think he can beat the knockout artist. No one thought Garcia could beat Amir Khan in July 2012. Garcia wound up knocking out the British star in four rounds.
“It’s the same story for me, but I don’t worry about anything like that, I go in and fight,” Garcia said. “I’m comfortable where I am. I don’t worry about all of that other stuff. That’s up for the media and everyone else to talk about. I have to get ready to fight. I just want to go in there and fight the fight on my life.”
Will he need the fight of his life to beat Matthysse?
“You know, every fight that you go into you have to fight the fight of your life,” Danny said. “Every fight I’ve fought so I fought the fight of my life. He might underestimate my power, we’ll see. I’m going in there and fight a smart fight and whatever I have to do, I’ll do it. I want to fight my fight, I always fight my fight.”
A key will be getting Matthysse to fight backing up. The Garcias have a plan to incorporate that with movement. Danny and father/trainer Angel feel if they can place Matthysse in uncomfortable positions, they can outbox him.
“My job is to worry about Danny, and we’re coming back to Philly with our belts,” Angel said. “We have to force Matthysse to back up. The champ comes forward. Matthysse is in for a good fight if he thinks he can go in there and whack Danny easily. That’s not going to happen. Matthysse has fought nobody. I mean nobody. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Matthysse is a bum, he’s nothing but a sparring partner. You’ll see, everyone will see.”
The last time Garcia has not lost a fight since August 25, 2007, when he was a teenager in the 2008 Olympic Trials.
The winner of Garcia-Matthysse will likely face Floyd Mayweather next.
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.