Standing Eight With ... Adrian Granados

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Adrian Granados talks fight strategy and assesses former two-division world champion Danny Garcia ahead of their welterweight showdown Saturday night on FS1.

WBC World Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter called Adrian Granados “a tougher fight” than former two-division title winner Danny Garcia “based on his pressure and relentlessness.”

Porter is the only boxer to face both fighters. In November 2017, he won a unanimous decision over Granados. Then in September 2018, he defeated Garcia by a much closer decision.

On Saturday, April 20, fights fans will discover if Porter is right. That evening, Garcia and Granados meet in what is expected to be an all-action brawl at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, live on FOX and FOX Deportes (8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT).

“Adrian has to dictate the pace, not have one-dimensional pressure that allows Danny to get comfortable or into a rhythm. He needs to feint, alternating range and distance to force Danny into punching first,” said Porter.

“Adrian can’t let Danny’s counter hooks or right hands between his own combinations. Adrian can't allow himself to be timed but must offset Danny, changing speeds. Adrian can affect Danny, mentally, and win a decision with good defense.”

Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) wants to be the first to stop Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs). The 29-year-old slugger from Cicero, Illinois will end a seven-month ring absence against Garcia, 31, whom he believes has a fragile psyche.

Where are you training?

I prepared for Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter in Chicago, but for Garcia I’m finishing up in California. Before that, I worked with the family of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. The gym owner is Julio Jr.’s brother, Rudolfo Chavez. Their father, Julio Sr., has given me lots of words of wisdom.

Julio Sr.’s the reason I’m a fighter, so getting tips on defense, the heavy bag and general training were a dream come true. When I go running in the parks at 5:30 a.m., they’re packed with my beautiful people getting their bread and fruit stands ready.

Do you plan on spending more time in Mexico?

I met a girl in Culiacan, my last two wins were knockouts there, and I’m returning there after the fight. My mindset is different. I’m back to my roots, the basics. I’m hungrier, I’m feeling blessed and very proud of being a Mexican going against the Puerto Rican Garcia.

I plan on being sharper and more precise in this fight. Welterweight contender - Adrian Granados

When Keith Thurman outpointed Garcia, he landed more punches (147-to-130), power shots (102-89) and jabs (45-41). Porter led in jabs (46-29) and overall blows (180-168) but trailed in power shots (139-134). Are these numbers relevant?

Most definitely. The majority of the time those who land harder, cleaner punches with effective aggression and ring generalship are the winners. I’ve been sloppy at times in my biggest fights, so I plan on being sharper and more precise in this fight.

Do you need more sustained intensity round-by-round given that Broner (166-146) and Porter (209-166) out-landed you?

Looking back, there were definitely moments against Broner and Porter where I took my foot off the gas.

Porter fought a smart fight. He outboxed me at times, and other times used roughhouse tactics. My lack of composure cost me, but I think Garcia’s style is made for me.

How do you neutralize Garcia’s check hook and counter right?

Danny’s a strong, smart, counter-puncher when he’s allowed to set you up for that big shot, so I’ve got to be smarter with the defense.

I’ve learned to slip, parry and get inside of those punches. I’m definitely planning to display some unpredictability.

What can you learn from Garcia-Rios?

Rios had a lot of success in a great fight for a long as it lasted, but nearing the end of his career, Rios lacked lateral movement.

I’m more versatile and bring more to the table than Rios does. Effective pressure, angles and timing are important.

Can you diversify your attack and beat Garcia to the punch?

That might be the difference. I’ve got to focus on ring generalship, defense, head movement, being smarter and landing clean, effective punches to the head and body.

I’ve proven I have a good beard, but that hasn’t won the big fights. The key will be using both hands and not becoming predictable. I’m gonna surprise people with my boxing abilities.

How will this fight end?

Danny’s there to bang it out in a war of fireworks, but I’m tired of losing controversial fights. I’m taking this out of the judges’ hands to demonstrate that I’m an elite fighter.

I’m planning to hand Garcia his third loss with an impressive show. I’ve got to dominate a one-sided fight or win by knockout. I see myself winning by late stoppage.

For a closer look at Garcia vs Granados, check out our fight night page.

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