You are known as “Crazy Angel,” I said to the father of welterweight titlist Danny Garcia Wednesday at the famed and fabled Gleason's Gym in DUMBO, Brooklyn, during a workout and media chat session for boxers taking part on a Saturday card at Barclays Center.
The proud papa nodded, intensely, in affirmation.
“I am,” he said.
“And I don't know that any boxing dad loves his kid, so publicly, as you do,” I stated.
No one, the Philly man said.
And we kind of summed things up and boiled them down regarding a front and center theme counting down to Saturday, when fellow welter crown holder Keith Thurman seeks to win the battle of unbeatens, and edge away from the pack of ace welters.
Crazy Angel sometimes, no, often, says incendiary shit. He's not about PC. N word slinging, and rants that align somewhat along the Donald Trump “America First” mindset are often topics he touches on.
This is sort of well and good, usually, but Saturday this main event tango screens on CBS. You might have noticed, Mr Trump was on his best behavior Tuesday night during an address to Congress and those watching on a screen, because, he knew, the audience wasn't the pay cable crew or the inside baseball hardcores. He needed to mind Ps and Qs. Appear “Presidential,” not unhinged. Same with Angel on Wednesday. Handlers handled and minders loomed as he chatted with press, and when someone veered, asking how it went when Angel chatted with NYSAC about his license to corner his kid, after they didn't dig his kickoff presser explosion, the train of questioning was firmly reined in. “Just about the fight, please,” I was told. Same thing when I asked if Angel watched Trump Wednesday.
You might wonder what that all has to do with boxing. Fair point. Here's why it matters..the Garcias are a tag team. Two for one. They blend into each other. And it is part of what makes Danny a star within our dimmed constellation of sport. He derives strength from dad, dad's mad outbursts both lighten the mood and help remove focus off him, and make his foes spill energy at Angel. Yeah, there's a method to the madness…
So, instead, we will focus on what we probably maybe just should solely anyway: the match on its merits, on its own.
Chatting with fight folks at Gleasons today I found lots leaning Danny. One trainer I spoke to said he likes Garcia to win “because he got more dog in him.”
And here is how Angel, Crazy (like a fox) Angel sees it…
And here is the release which went out after:
BROOKLYN (March 1, 2017) – Welterweight world champions Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia participated in a media workout at world famous Gleason’s Gym Wednesday afternoon in advance of their primetime showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, this Saturday, March 4 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Also in attendance Wednesday and opening the broadcast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT were undefeated rising star Erickson Lubin and once-beaten knockout artist Jorge Cota, who meet in a super welterweight world title eliminator.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Additional fighters participating in the workout and competing in undercard action on Saturday included light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara, who takes on former world champion Chad Dawson, popular local unbeaten Heather Hardy, who battles Edina Kiss in a featherweight attraction, super lightweight Mario Barrios, who meets Yardley Suarez in an eight-round fight, unbeaten contender Sergey Lipinets and Florida’s Clarence Booth, who meet in super lightweight action and 2016 Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins, who makes his pro debut.
Here is what the fighters
“It feels great to be in this big fight. This is what we’ve been dreaming of. It feels like my destiny. When you put so much hard work into the sport, everyone knows you’re planting a seed. You have to watch it grow and nurture it before it starts to bear fruit.
“Brooklyn has one of a kind fight fans. The history of this city and the history of boxing in this city is exceptional. The appreciation they have for fighters is one of a kind. It’s always a blessing to perform for these fans.
“I expect the best of Danny Garcia. This is the biggest fight of either of our careers. I saw the best of Shawn Porter, but Keith Thurman was able to rise to the top once again.
“When you look at the facts and our records, it doesn’t get bigger than this. There’s no comparison to my other fights. This is the biggest of my career.
“The ultimate goal is to unify the division. It’s a blessing right now to have two undefeated world champions. These titles have only been brought together a few times in history. It’s a great opportunity. The winner is going to be that man to beat at 147-pounds.
“I believe that we will see the next superstar in the welterweight division after we unify these titles. Whoever becomes the undisputed welterweight champion of the world, will be on another level. We’re going to take our first step toward that Saturday night.
“I want to touch as many households as I can touch. I want the kids who come from the struggle; I want them to see me. They have to learn that they’re going to earn their stripes in life from training hard in the gym.”
“I’ve trained hard for this fight and I’m ready. Saturday night, I’ll be the new unified champion of the world.
“The atmosphere at Barclays Center is amazing. I’ve always requested to fight here and I’m glad they accept me. I can’t wait to fight in front of those great fans again.
“I’m prepared for the best Keith Thurman. I’m ready to make adjustments and fight like a true champion and get the victory.
“I’ve been training a long time for this fight. I felt great in the gym and I was really comfortable the whole time. I’ve had no struggle to make weight. I feel strong and I’ve had no injuries. That’s a perfect camp. We train hard, we train smart and we’re prepared for Saturday night.
“I always train to impress. I don’t need to add any extra pressure just because it’s a big audience. I have to go in there and keep my composure and be the same Danny Garcia that I always am.
“We just have to stay focused on Saturday night. We’re just worried about my game plan for the fight. There’s no distractions for me. I think everything will go smoothly.
“There’s always been some tough fights in the legacies of other great fighters. Each fight is a learning experience. Everything in my career has led me to this fight.
“People want to see the best fight the best. This is my chance to prove it to the world that I’m one of the best fighters in the world.
“I’m definitely a better fighter than Keith Thurman. He’s never been in the ring with a guy like me. Saturday night, I’m going to prove it. I’m the better counter-puncher, I’m sharper and I’ll prove it on Saturday night.”
“It feels great to be here. Training camp was amazing. We had lots of sparring and made lots of improvements from my last fight. I feel strong and I can’t wait until Saturday night.
“I don’t let anything get to me. I know what I can do. I’m going to go in there confident and be dominant. I’m going to be aware of everything and keep my mind sharp in the ring.
“My coach does the studying of the tape but I know he’s a strong Mexican power-puncher. We know he’s going to be aggressive, but we’re ready for any style he comes with on Saturday night.
“For every opponent, the game plan is different. We have a game plan, but we’ll be ready to adjust. At the end of the day, I have to go in there and win, and win impressively.
“Being on this card is a wonderful feeling. I get to open up for this tremendous fight that I think is going to be the Fight of the Year. I’m going to set the bar real high.
“I’m coming for that number one spot Saturday night. After that, I become the mandatory for Jermell Charlo. I’m going to win this fight in spectacular fashion, mark my words.”
“I know that it’s been a long lay-off but I’ve been staying in the gym and staying ready. I don’t think I’ll have any ring rust once I get in there.
“I’m going to take it round-by-round and see what he brings into the ring. I’m going to make adjustments off of what I see. I’ll assess the situation and take it on from there.
“I have a lot of motivation coming into this fight and I’m ready to move a step closer to a world title. This opportunity is something that I won’t let slip by.
“I know I have a very tough opponent in front of me, but I am too strong and I will be too good on Saturday night.”
“I got some rest after my last fight and get myself back together. The decision was to change trainers to Virgil Hunter. I’m happy with that decision and I had a great camp.
“I have more focus during this camp. It’s just my family and the gym. The same thing every day. I’m in possibly the best shape I’ve been in my life.
“I have a great jab that I have to use. I think I’m a stronger and more physical fighter than Chad Dawson. I know how to box inside and outside. Dawson has a lot of experience but I know I will be ready for anything he brings.
“There are a lot of Polish fans I’m expecting to see on Saturday night. I know that Brooklyn has a large population of Polish boxing fans. I’m ready for that feeling. I’m back and I’m going after a world title.”
“I’ve had my eyes on this fight date for a while. I knew that I had to get on this card. There had to be at least one woman representing our sport on this card.
“The women have to work three times as hard just to get to this point. Girls train just as hard as men and we’re working towards getting our due.
“We don’t just represent ourselves when we get in the ring, we represent our sport. There’s always an incredible amount of pressure, no matter what the stage is.
“Just before this fight camp I was coming off of an eight-week MMA camp. Thinking about a girl who can only hit me with two hands, I’m not worried at all.
“I’m excited to get back in the ring and put on a show for my loyal and dedicated fans who love to watch me fight.”
“I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to be on this card. We’re more than prepared for this fight. We have a tough opponent but I’m ready to take everything we’ve done in the gym and put it into the ring.
“My team has watched some tape on my opponent. I personally don’t like to watch too much of their tapes. Everyone fights different opponents differently. We came up with a game plan for this fight and that’s what we’ve been working on all camp.
“A win means everything to me. It’s going to help me climb the ladder and help me take another step in my career.
“I love fighting in New York. The people in this city are incredible and they come out for big fights like this. It’s huge to be on this stage and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
“The bright lights have never scared me away. I’m more motivated by the importance of this card. All I care about is what happens in the fight. I don’t see any distractions. I’m focused on my opponent.
“I prepare for every fight like it’s for a world title. It’s the same system for getting ready. But I am aware that people have a lot of tape on me now, so my team has been working on bringing something different to each fight.
“As of now, I’m the IBF mandatory, but I’m not looking past Clarence Booth. I want to take care of this fight and then move on to whoever is holding that belt in June or July. I want a world title fight next.
“I respect every man who steps into that squared-circle. Clarence Booth is a great fighter and I respect him for getting in the ring with me. He’s in my way and I plan on putting on a great performance.”
“Being in camp with Keith Thurman is like being in the school of boxing. We spar, get some good rounds in and he always gives me good advice.
“I’m prepared for anything on Saturday night. I’ve watched him a little bit. I see he’s a big puncher, but I’m a big puncher too. I’m ready to get to work.
“I can do it all in the ring. I can brawl, box and adjust to my opponent. I’m excited for this fight on Saturday.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I’m just excited to get in the ring and take advantage of it on Saturday night.”
“I’m excited to make my pro debut. I’ve fought in the Golden Gloves at Barclays Center before so there’s no pressure heading into this one.
“I’ve had a long amateur career and I think all of that prepared me for this moment. Everything I’ve been doing since I was 13 has led to this.
“I don’t know too much about my opponent but I’m going to go in there and adapt. We’ve trained to be prepared for this.
“I’ve always seen myself fighting on big cards and one day I’ll be the headliner. We’re finally on the right track towards what I’m looking to accomplish