Two of Philadelphia’s top fighters held a workout Tuesday as Danny “Swift” Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) and Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham (28-7, 13 KOs) prepared for their respective Premier Boxing Champions headlining events in August.
Garcia, who was joined by his father and trainer Angel, returns to Barclays Center on Saturday, August 1 when he takes on Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) in a 12-round welterweight battle on Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN. Cunningham, a two-time world champion trained by Naazim Richardson, is set for a 12-round heavyweight showdown with Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (31-6, 22 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike taking place Friday, August 14 from Prudential Center in Newark.
“There’s no reason to go back in my career. The sky is the limit. It’s 147 for me now. I definitely feel a lot stronger.
“I’m able to work on things now later in camp. Before I would just be coming in to lose weight. Now I’ve had great nutrition throughout camp. My legs are there and I’m faster. It’s all going to fall into place on August 1.
“I’m not really concerned about Paulie, at this point in my career if I’m 110% percent ready, I feel like I can adapt to anything and find a way to win.
“I couldn’t cut the ring off the way I wanted to at 140. Now I have more agility and I can really corner people, use the jab and control the fight.
“My weight is great. I’ve been really disciplined with what I eat. I’m staying sharp and building muscle. I believe I could have been a welterweight two years ago.
“He’s from Brooklyn, I’m from Philly. The fight makes perfect sense. All the Italian fans, the Puerto Rican fans will be coming in to see a great fight. He’s a former 147-pound champion, it’s going to be a great fight.
“There’s no pressure on me. I just want to go in there and be Danny Garcia, a smart Danny Garcia.
“I feel like my style matches up great with anybody at 147. I’m ready for Paulie Malignaggi. I know he’s coming into his hometown. It’s a big fight for him so I just have to be completely ready.
“I moved up to 147 to fight the best fighters. Whatever the best fights are, that’s what I want.
“When we were offered this fight, we took it right away. Not that I think It’s going to be easy, because no fight is easy until you go in there and make it look easy.
“I’m going to do what I do. I put in the work in the gym and then I do work in the ring. The fans are going to enjoy what they see and we’re going to come out victorious.
“All I know is my situation. My back is against the wall. I want to be the heavyweight world champion and I want to be great in the sport. Fighting guys like this and beating them is what makes me great. Even as a two-time champion, my back has always been against the wall.
“There’s so much talent in Philadelphia, there has been for generations. You come to the city and see the stars. Philly is a rough city, it’s a tough hardcore city and you need to be cut from a special cloth to come out of the city and be successful.
“People came together for a cause to try and help my family. The boxing community got us to Pittsburgh in time for my daughter Kennedy to get her heart transplant. Indebted doesn’t event match how we feel, I owe the boxing community everything and I wish I could pay them back double. What I can do is continue to stay in shape and prepare right and give everyone the fights that they want to see.
[On his 9-year-old daughter Kennedy’s heart transplant which took place seven months ago in Pittsburgh]
“We’re going to take everything we’ve done in past camps and fine-tune it for this fight. Naazim has the plan and we’re going to execute it. It’s not just going to be outworking him, I’m a veteran too. I’ve been in the lion’s den and won.
“I don’t underestimate anybody. I just prepare and we’re prepared for the best Antonio Tarver we’ve ever seen.”
ANGEL GARCIA, Danny Garcia’s Father & Trainer
“Danny’s going to be ready on August 1 to show the world that he’s ready. The power is there. He’s coming like a lion in the night. He’s going to eat everybody up at 147.
“At the end of the day, you gotta fight. He’s not going to win running around. We’re coming to smash you.”
NAAZIM RICHARDSON, Cunningham’s Trainer
“With Steve you have to gauge the camp differently. He comes into camp in such good shape; he lives it because he’s in this shape year round.
“He’s in such good shape, he throws your timing off. There are things that you want to do, but you don’t have to because he’s there. He’s already looking very good in camp.”