Fight first, then fatherhood: Danny Garcia performing balancing act

Danny Garcia has a lot on his plate right now, with impending fisticuffs and fatherhood both requiring his immediate attention.

Danny Garcia

From left, Maritza Garcia and Angel Garcia joined impending parents Erica Mendez and Danny Garcia in donning their brightest whites at the couple's baby shower.

“August is a big month for me,” Garcia said. “I’ve got the fight on August 1, and then I’m going to become a father on August 11, so it’s a blessing. I feel great and I’m excited.”

Ten days after Danny Garcia makes his 147-pound debut Saturday against Paulie Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, which airs live on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, his girlfriend, Erica Mendez, is due to give birth to their daughter.

That has had Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) navigating a busy schedule of left hooks and Lamaze classes.

“Erica understands my career. She knows I’ve got to be at the gym and I have to run in the morning,” Garcia said. "So I can’t make it to all of the classes and things like that. But when the baby comes, I’ll be more than prepared to be a great dad.”

Garcia and Mendez recently had a lavish baby shower to celebrate their child’s arrival.

“Everything is ready to go,” Garcia said. “We’ve got the crib, a dresser, a changing table, the closet, the Pampers and the whole nine yards.”

Mendez and Garcia will choose from five different names for their baby in what, in boxing terms, will amount to a feeling-out process.

“I want to see the baby first before I get to name her,” Garcia said. “Once we see her face, then we’ll see whatever name matches her and we’ll know what to call her.”

Will the baby girl soften up her boxing daddy?

“I hope not, but I really don’t know,” Garcia said with a chuckle. “I’m just ready to be as strong a father as I can be.”

For advice, Garcia, 27, need look no further than his own father and chief cornerman, Angel, who also has an older son, 29-year-old Eric, and 14-year-old twin daughters, Sianney and Angelise, with wife Maritza.

“After my wife had Eric and Danny, she didn’t get pregnant again for 15 years, and then we were blessed with twin girls that keep me strong,” Angel Garcia said. “Danny wanted a baby boy, but God sent him a girl, so maybe that’s what he needs to stay focused.

“Danny's doing it right. He’s got a good career going, he’s OK financially and he’s going to do the right thing for the rest of his life. I’m happy for Danny, and I know that he’s going to show [his daughter] the love she deserves.”

For complete coverage of Garcia vs Malignaggi, visit our fight page.

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