Danny Garcia: “I’ve Always Been Underrated”

Danny Garcia gave up thinking about pound-for-pound lists, official odds on his fights and people’s opinions of his boxing career long ago.

The WBC world welterweight champion came to accept that no matter what he does, his critics will dissect his closest calls more than they’ll emphasize the impressive victories that have placed Philadelphia’s Garcia in the prominent position he occupies.

The former WBA/WBC super lightweight champion hears more about his debatable majority decision victories over Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson, as well as his infamous mismatch against Rod Salka, than his unquestionable big wins against Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Erik Morales and Kendall Holt.

Despite his unblemished record, Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) is an underdog again, more than 2-1, several days in advance of his welterweight championship unification fight against unbeaten WBA world welterweight champion Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs). The Garcia-Thurman fight will be broadcast by CBS on Saturday night from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The 28-year-old Garcia doesn’t understand, based on their resumes, why Thurman, of Clearwater, Florida, is such a decisive favorite over him. Then again, he is used to playing the role of the underdog, no matter how much he accomplishes.

“I’ve been underrated my whole career,” Garcia said during a recent conference call. “Every time I beat somebody, there’s always an excuse. Or every time I’m in a tough fight, it’s always, ‘Oh, controversial,’ or whatever. Or a close fight. It is what it is. That’s the image the media is trying to give me.

“But at the end of the day, I know I’m a true champion. And the hard work that I put in day in and day out, you know, I’m confident in anything I do in life. So my job’s not really to worry about the media and people underrating me. It is what it is because I know I’m a true champion, and that’s it.”

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