Garcia To Thurman: “Pay Attention” on Saturday

Danny "Swift" Garcia is preparing to fight Samuel Vargas this weekend, but that’s not the Garcia fight on boxing fans’ minds. The undefeated welterweight champion will face Keith Thurman in March if he gets past Vargas, which will be one of the most anticipated fights in the sport. At the final media workout ahead of Saturday’s fight, Garcia spoke about both of his next two opponents.

The fight will take place in Garcia’s hometown of Philadelphia, and Thurman will be ringside for the Premier Boxing Champions bout, working on the SPIKE broadcast.

WBC welterweight champ Garcia (32-0) says that Thurman should pay close attention on Saturday because it will offer a preview of their 2017 unification fight.

"He will get up an up close and personal look at what will happen to him in March," Garcia said, per a press release following the media workout. "I hope he’s paying attention."

WBA champion Thurman (27-0) has been calling for a fight with Garcia since winning a back-and-forth war against Shawn Porter in June. When Garcia was instead matched up with Vargas — a clear mismatch — the Philadelphia boxer took criticism from Thurman and boxing fans alike for taking an easy fight. But with a victory in this tune-up, Garcia will be in line for the bout that everyone wants to see.

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Even though the fight with Thurman looms in the not-so-distant future, Garcia knows he cannot overlook Vargas.

"I cannot look past this fight," he said. "I have tunnel vision and have never looked past anyone. I know he is coming to win but I am ready mentally and physically to get the job done.

"I am just going to go in the ring and be myself. Seek and destroy. I am taking this one round at a time. I’m looking to be smart and break him down. When the opportunity comes, I’m taking it and putting on a show."

While the eventual Thurman bout is the high-profile fight that would push Garcia forward if he wins, this bout gives him the opportunity to put on a show for his hometown. He looks forward to giving the Philadelphia crowd a performance worth their attention.

"I am excited to give the Philly fans a great fight. This is an opportunity to give back and that is the most important to me. I’ve been training really hard and I’m going to give 100 percent for my city."

The fight will take place on Nov. 12 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

BoxingBrooklynDanny GarciaKeith ThurmanWelterweight