Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados – preview & prediction
By Mike Smith: Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) will be attempting to put himself back in position to challenge for a world title this Saturday night on April 20 against Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) in their 12 round fight for the vacant World Boxing Council Silver welterweight title on PBC on Fox & Fox Deportes at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The televised portion of the card starts at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Garcia has been getting off to a late start in his recent fights, allowing Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman to build up big leads on him before he started rallying. Garcia can’t afford to fight like that against Granados. If he lets the Chicago native build a lead on him, he’ll never get back into the fight. Granados isn’t going to tire out the way that Thurman and Porter did in their fights against Garcia.
Despite having lost two out of his last three fights, Garcia, 31, still views himself as even with the elite welterweights Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Garcia is within one of loss dropping out of being seen as an elite level fighter. Whether Granados has enough talent to finish Garcia’s days as an elite level guy is unclear. Porter says Granados gave him a tougher fight than Danny Garcia did. That was a harder fight for Porter against Granados than Garcia, he says.
“I really feel like a lot of the top welterweights are at the same level,” Garcia said to esnewsreporting. “Me being in there with [Shawn] Porter and [Keith] Thurman. These are two of the best welterweights. That’s how I really feel. There’s really no top guy for me. Me, Thurman and Porter all fought each other. Errol Spence really hasn’t fought no one. [Terence] Crawford hasn’t fought nobody yet at welterweight. So you can’t really assess it until everybody fights everybody,” Garcia said.
Spence is considered the best fight now at welterweight followed by Crawford, Thurman, Porter and bringing up the rear is Danny Garcia. He may lose that position if he gets beaten by the younger 29-year-old Granados on Saturday. If Garcia’s ego can’t handle it, he’ll continue to talk about how some boxing fans thought he deserved to have his hand raised in his losses. It would be sad for Garcia if he rationalizes all of his losses in that way by saying a portion of the fan base saw him as the winner.
If Garcia can’t cut it at 147, he needs to accept being one of the contenders or he can move back down to 140, and try and recapture his World Boxing Council light welterweight title. Garcia’s losses to Thurman and Porter were close defeats, but they were still clear defeats. Never the less, if Garcia beats Granados on Saturday, he’ll be in the picture for a rematch with Porter or Thurman. Oddly enough, Garcia hasn’t been talking up a fight against IBF welterweight champion Spence for some reason.
“I’m preparing for this fight like I’m preparing for all my big fights,” Garcia said to Inside PBC Boxing. “I plan on fighting on a high level on April 20, and I’m definitely not taking him lightly. I know I’m a great champion. I know I’m a good fighter,” Garcia said.
Garcia isn’t a champion anymore. He’s now officially a contender. He hasn’t been a world champion since he loss to Thurman by a 12 round split decision in March 2017. That was two years ago. It sounds like Garcia is having a hard time adjusting to being a contender at this point.
“These are two fights that the majority of the world thought I won,” Garcia said about his losses to Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman. “I plan on showing the world that I’m still the top fighter. At 147, I’m one of the best fighters in the world, period. Come April 20, I’m going to show it. He’s a man in my way. He wants what I have. He wants my position. I’ve just got to go in there and dominate him. He’s just another man in my way trying to stop me from getting what I want. I’ve never been an opponent. I’ve been a champion my whole career. I’ve always been at the top of the game. I’ve never been an opponent. When the timings right, it’ll come back around. That’s just how the sport of boxing works,” Garcia said.
Garcia looked angry during the Inside PBC Boxing shoot. It could be that Danny is finally starting to recognize that he’s no longer seen as one of the major players in the welterweight division, not that he ever really was one. Garcia won the vacant WBC 147 lb title by beating past his prime Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero by a 12 round unanimous decision in a fight that was a lot closer than the scores handed down by the three judges in January 2016. The judges all had it scored 116-112, 116-112 and 116-112. The fight was close enough for it to be scored as either a draw or a narrow 115-113 victory for Garcia. The fact that Garcia couldn’t dominate Guerrero showed even back then that he’s not cut out for the welterweight division, at least in terms of him being a championship level fighter.
“I feel like if the fights close, they’re going to take it from me,” Granados said. “I’ve stepped it up in training camp. I’m going to take this fight, and come out and dominate. I’m not someone you’re going to stop. If you hurt me, I’m going to keep coming. He better try and hit me with a ring post or something,” Granados said.
Granados is the B-side in this fight, so hes’s going to need to fight a lot harder than he normally would if he wants to get the decision. Although the fight is taking place at a neutral venue in Carson, California, Garcia is still the A-side in the fight, and Granados the opponent for him. That means that if Granados wants the victory, he’s going to need to be able to fight as hard as he can do get the better of Garcia. The rounds can’t afford to be close if Granados wants the victory.
“Yeah, definitely,” Garcia said when asked if he wants the top names. “I’ve got to take one fight at a time. Adrian Granados is in my way right now. He wants what I want. After this, I plan on going right back where I started and that’s at the championship level,” Garcia said.
Both Porter and Thurman are highly interested in fighting Garcia in rematches. He should be able to get those fights as long as he beats Granados. Even if Garcia loses to Granados, he’ll likely be able to get fights against Thurman and Porter.
Garcia will have the size, punching power and the boxing skills advantage. However, there’s a blueprint that Porter created in how to beat Garcia by taking the fight to the inside and throwing a lot of shots. Granados is obviously going to try and follow that blueprint. The way not to fight Garcia is to stand on the outside the way that Lucas Matthyssee did in his loss to him back in September 2013. Garcia is good at jabbing his opponents when they stand on the outside. If Granados can stay in close, throw a lot of shots he could get the victory, as long as he doesn’t get worn down wity low blows. Garcia should still win a 12 round decision. This writer sees Garcia winning by a 116-112 score.