Danny Garcia has fought plenty of tough guys. Lucas Matthysse had never been down in his career before he fought Garcia. Four-division champion Erik Morales had only been dropped by Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao before facing Garcia twice in 2012.
Garcia put them both on the canvas, including dropping Morales twice in a pair of fights that ended the Mexican warrior’s career. Now, he’ll have to face another fighter who’s been known to have a rock-solid chin in Robert Guerrero when the two square off in a 147-pound title fight Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles (Fox, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
“I’ve been in lots of fights where fighters don’t go down,” Danny Garcia says. “Everybody can’t get knocked out. Well, anybody can get knocked out, but it’s harder to knock some fighters out than others. You’ve just got to break them down.”
In fact, it wasn’t until last year that Guerrero went down for the second time as a pro, courtesy of Keith Thurman’s ninth-round right uppercut. For the eight rounds before that, he absorbed some bone-rattling shots from Thurman and continued to come forward.
They were the kind of punches you could hear smacking off ribs from six rows back. It was enough to make a guy wince just hearing it, imagining the way leather stung the flesh. Yet Guerrero was undeterred.
He showed that resilience again in June against Aron Martinez, who dropped Guerrero for the second straight bout, this time in the fourth round. It wasn’t Guerrero's finest first half of a fight, but "The Ghost” picked it up on the back end and dominated the final five rounds to eke out a split decision.
“I faced a lot of fighters with good chins and things like that,” Garcia says.
Good chin is one thing, but fighting a guy who has an iron-clad will is another matter entirely. But Garcia is ready to rumble on both the physical and psychic planes.
“You’ve just got to stay mentally strong,” he says. “Mentally and physically strong, round after round, and keep your composure. Stay smart. You can’t get discouraged because he’s not going down.”
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