Danny Garcia admittedly lacked intensity and steam on his punches in two of his past three fights, even though he emerged victorious in all of them.
But he claims he will be a “stronger, more athletic Danny Garcia” when he makes his 147-pound debut against Paulie Malignaggi on August 1.
“I fought my whole entire career at 140, and losing the weight was hurting my performances," Garcia says. "I made five title defenses. I have nothing else to prove at that weight class. It’s time for me to move up.”
Danny Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) will face Brooklyn, New York, native Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) on his home turf at Barclays Center in a fight airing on ESPN (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
“In my last three fights, including this one, they all have a similar style,” Garcia said. “Those fights have earned me the experience of fighting a similar style to Paulie’s. I’ll get this game plan down and be ready to go on August 1.”
Garcia, 27, returns to the site of his last bout in April, a disputed majority decision over former 140-pound champion Lamont Peterson. The Philadelphia native is 4-0 with two KOs fighting at Barclays Center.
Although his nose was bloodied and there were bruises surrounding his right eye, Garcia denied assertions implied by a widely circulated video that he admitted defeat to Peterson during a post-fight embrace prior to the verdict being announced.
"We easily won nine rounds out of 12," says Angel Garcia, Danny's father and trainer. "So why would Danny go in there talking about he lost? That's something only an idiot would do."
Eight of Garcia’s last 10 fights have been against current or former titleholders, including Erik Morales (twice), Amir Khan and Zab Judah.
“You're talking several straight big victories, one right after another," Garcia said. "There is no other young fighter in the game today who has done that like me.”
Garcia was criticized for fighting Rob Salka in a nontitle bout in August 2014, and for barely edging Peterson at a catchweight of 143 pounds, but he said he feels reborn stepping up to 147.
“It’s my luck in boxing that I’m supposed to knock everybody out. I’m one of the few fighters in the world who is not allowed to win a close fight without controversy. But I wasn’t feeling strong anymore,” Garcia said.
“I’m getting older. My body's feeling like I need to move up a weight class. Now that I feel much better, the fans are going to see a new Danny Garcia.”
For complete coverage of Garcia vs Malignaggi, visit our fight page.