Jason Keidel

When Danny Garcia fights Keith Thurman on March 4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, it will mark the first time two undefeated welterweight champions will fight each other since Oscar De La Hoya battled Felix Trinidad. Perhaps this fight doesn’t have the precise cash or cachet attached, but it’s still a hallmark event for a sport that’s looking to fill the Floyd Mayweather Jr. void.

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And while he’s not as open or loquacious as Thurman, Garcia fights and speaks with a subtle dignity, with an economy of punches and words. Garcia spent a few minutes chatting with CBS Local Sports three days before the biggest bout of his life.

Jason Keidel: When did you first put on boxing gloves?

Garcia: Seven years old.

Keidel: When did you fall in love with boxing?

Garcia: Seven years old. I always loved it. I stopped until 10 years old because Philadelphia didn’t allow kids to fight in gyms under 10. But once I started again I never looked back.

Keidel: When did you know you’d be really good?

Garcia: Right away.

Credit: SHOWTIME Boxing

Credit: SHOWTIME Boxing

Keidel: What is your walk around weight?

Garcia: Between fights I’m usually 160 pounds.

Keidel: How long is your average training camp?

Garcia: 10 weeks. All in Philly. I never train anywhere else.

Keidel: How long was this camp?

Garcia: 10 weeks.

Keidel: How do you like fighting in Brooklyn?

Garcia: This is my sixth time. Definitely, Barclays is my home away from home. I put on great performances in Brooklyn.

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Keidel: What part of Thurman’s style are you most concerned about?

Garcia: We have to be focused on all of his styles and dictate the pace of the fight. Styles make fights.

Keidel: If you had to choose, would you call yourself a boxer or a fighter?

Garcia: Both. I can be strategic or a power puncher. Also, counter-punching is an art.

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Keidel: Are you prouder of your jab or power?

Garcia: My jab sets it all up. My power is what got me here.

Keidel: What part of your style will Thurman find hardest to handle?

Garcia: I’m just a great all-around fighter. I’m tough mentally and I’m going to control the fight. He’s never been in a ring with a guy like me.

Keidel: Will you win by KO or decision?

Garcia: I would love to knock him out, but you can’t go in there expecting a KO. So I’m ready and trained for 12 rounds.

Keidel: How long would you like to fight?

Garcia: As long as my body tells me it’s ok. I always want to be a top fighter. I’ll just listen to my body.

(Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

(Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Keidel: Do you still love the process? Training? Roadwork? 

Garcia: It’s tough but you have to love it to be a top fighter. I’ve never lost my hunger.

Keidel: How has PBC helped the sport? 

Garcia: PBC is the best thing to happen to boxing in years; the best fight the best on free TV. This gives everyone a chance to watch and all true fight fans are looking forward to this fight.

Keidel: Best fight of your career? 

Garcia: The Lucas Mathysse fight. I was most proud of myself for that one.

Keidel: Hardest fight?

Garcia: Every fight is hard in its own way. Some were tougher but every fight is tough.

Keidel: Fight that put you on the map?

Garcia: After I beat Amir Kahn I was probably on the map. And then Mathysee for sure.

Keidel: Do you see yourself someday moving up in weight?

Garcia: Definitely. Not after this fight. But next few years I definitely see that.

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Twitter: @JasonKeidel