Photo Credits: Esther Lin/Showtime
Fresh off his signature win against Lucas Matthysse, unified WBA and WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia was in Puerto Rico yesterday to officially announce his March 15 defense against Mauricio Herrera. While most are predicting an emphatic victory for Garcia, Herrera has pulled upsets before, most notably his decision win over Ruslan Provodnikov. The fighters, including undercard combatants Juan Manuel Lopez and Daniel Ponce de Leon, spoke in depth about their upcoming Showtime event.
DANNY “SWIFT” GARCIA
I am a Puerto Rican. I could have been born on the moon, but I’m still Puerto Rican.
[On fighting in Puerto Rico] “It means a lot to me. Everybody in the stands is going to be Puerto Rican. I’ve never had that before.
Even though I’m from Philly, that’s not my heritage. It’s important for me to reach out to my fans because I think Puerto Rican boxing needs this right now.
I think that Puerto Rico is going to accept me as its own after I win on March 15. Philadelphia might be my birthplace, but Puerto Rico is my blood.
I know this is a huge opportunity, and I’m going to take full advantage of it.
To have a shot at Danny’s belts has been a dream of mine for a long time.
Danny Garcia is an intelligent and tough fighter, but so am I.
I’m coming to Puerto Rico and I know there is a lot of pressure, but hopefully they will support me too.
JUAN MANUEL LOPEZ
I’m excited about this great opportunity. I have the people of Puerto Rico confident in me and their support means everything to me.
I’m prepared for this fight and I know that it’s going to be a tough one. I’m going to give it my all.
DANIEL PONCE DE LEON, Former WBC Featherweight World Champion
I’m happy to be here in Puerto Rico. I’ve been training hard and I’m ready for this rematch.
It’s been five years [since our last fight] and I know that JuanMa is going to come in strong. He’s a great fighter, but I’m coming in fully prepared for this fight.
ANGEL GARCIA, Garcia’s Father and Trainer
March 15 is going to be like no other. Herrera has never fought a Puerto Rican and my son Danny is 100 percent Puerto Rican.
My wife and I are both Puerto Rican, and like it or not, Danny is Boricua. It’s always been a dream of his to fight in Puerto Rico, so we’re happy to see that coming to pass.
GILLERMO SILVA, Herrera’s Trainer
I’m very thankful for this opportunity. It’s going to be a good and hard fight, but Mauricio will be prepared. The preparation and work he has put in will show on fight night.