PHILADELPHIA — It’s subtle. In fact, it’s so delicate you probably have to look a little harder to realize the change—but there is change.
Three weeks ago, as Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 knockouts) was preparing for his 12-round welterweight clash this Saturday against Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) in the main event on PBC on Fox & Fox Deportes (8 p.m.ET/5 p.m. PT) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, “Swift” looked slightly different.
Usually this far from a fight, Garcia in the past has carried a little more heft on his shoulders and arms. This time, Garcia looked trimmer three weeks away from meeting Granados.
Greg Garrett, who works with a number of NFL players, is Garcia’s new strength and conditioning coach. Garrett’s approach is different than Garcia’s previous conditioning coach, who emphasized muscle mass. This camp, Garcia is looking to carry more endurance and increase his punch output.
This Saturday will mark the first time Swift is getting into the ring since losing to Shawn Porter back in September for the vacant WBC welterweight title. Garcia also enters the fight this weekend the loser of two of his last three fights, granted those defeats have come against two top-10 welterweights like Porter and Keith Thurman.
Still, Garcia wanted to make a change.
He’s looking for the missing piece to break through that threshold and beat fighters like Porter and Thurman.
Porter looked much more active than Garcia in their September fight because he was, throwing 742 punches, though only landing 12 more total punches (180/742 for 24%) than Garcia (168 of 472 for 36%).
“I felt like I beat Porter, because boxing is about clean, effective punching, and that’s what I did,” Garcia said. “We knew what Porter was going to do. He throws crazy punches and charges at you. Everyone knows how he fights. He was jumping around, making it seem like he was energetic.
“I was upset. I woke up the next morning and after I looked at the tape, I thought I was the better fighter. I looked like the better fighter. I landed the cleaner punches. I was pissed the next day, because it wasn’t even one of the hardest fights of my career. In my heart, I won. On paper, I have to accept it.
“I need to be a little more dominant. That’s it. He outworked me. Porter didn’t outland me. Against Granados, my job is to fight my fight, go in there and win. That’s the main key. I get upset sometimes, because I’ve been a champion for a long time and the worst feeling in the world anyone can go through is when you lose.
“I’ll never accept losing to Porter in my heart.”
This time, Garcia is investing more time in explosive training and speed, not focusing on maintaining muscle mass. Physically, he looks closer to 147 pounds three weeks out than he has in the past.
“I just have to win, because there is no big fight out there without me,” Garcia said. “I’ve seen Granados a few times. He’s an average guy with a big heart who likes to fight. It’s always a challenge when you fight a certain level, so I’m taking this fight like I do any other fight. I have a new conditioning coach, and the main key is working on my endurance.
“Conditioning has never been a problem for me. I always run. That’s never been a problem. I have to be more explosive and that’s what I have to focus on; more explosive later in the fight. That’s the difference you’ll see against (Granados).”
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