Manny Pacquiao is a mama's boy and his father ate his dog like he was “Pac-Man.” He probably turned him into a video game. It's one thing to know that mom is always up the block, down the street or around the corner… but having dad in the corner is a little different. This isn't to say a fighter will love one and hate the other, but the son of the “sweet science” is likely to cling to whoever he fears losing the most.
This fight is really for kids who grew up reading KO Magazine and played Atari with a joystick and “Space Invaders” with balls. Watching Danny “Swift” Garcia (34-1, 20KOs) versus ‘Showtime' Shawn Porter (28-2-1, 17KOs) on September 8th from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (LIVE on Showtime, 9PM ET), will feel like an after school brawl between rival gang leaders who attend the same weight class. The hottest class in school. Not only do the squares not know about it, but It doesn't get any better than having both loud-mouthed fathers — who don't look or act like their corny ass teachers, coaching their sons and rolling the dice on the outcome.
One of them has to lose for victory, while the other is likely to be defeated by it. With the vacant WBC welterweight championship at stake, Keith Thurman (who really started the whole “Daddy's Boy” business), the unbeaten former WBC champion perhaps with a stake in the outcome, would probably tell you that both “DSG” and “Showtime” were created by their fathers and will die with them. “One-Time” would opine that a fight with either is a real son of a bitch.
“To beat Danny Garcia, you have to use your whole arsenal, especially beating him in the fashion we want to beat him in. We want to look great. We have seen Danny in the ring with different fighters with different styles. You can be aggressive and beat him, you can use the ring and outbox him. We are going to use them all.”
—Shawn Porter, on how him and his father plan on basically jumping DSG
Porter truly believes he'll either Paul Malignaggi DSG (in reference to his brutal April 2014 annihilation of Malignaggi), or at the very worst, Mauricio Herrera him (a rare bout in Puerto Rico for DSG many felt Herrera won). On hand with the media last Wednesday after a workout in his state-of-the-art Hy-Performance gym in Las Vegas, Porter revealed that DSG is only fighting him because of the vacant WBC strap he narrowly lost to Thurman on March 4, 2017. Just days before that fight, Kenny Porter, believing his son had “ruined Thurman,” told yours truly at Gleason's Gym just how disgusted he was with Team Garcia [and boxing] for ‘being protected', while also believing Shawn had not been given a fair chance at welterweight glory.
He repeated this refrain and began openly calling out Swift after an April 2017 mugging of Andre Berto. Then, following an escape of a game Adrian Granados last November (a bout in which Porter suffered a significant hand injury early in the contest), Showtime started going ham on SHOWTIME mics about his desire to beat up Danny Garcia, believing him to be ‘a fake WBC welterweight champion'.
This rivalry (not really what we'd call “Beef”) has been cooking for awhile. I recall a rainy Mark Kriegel segment with DSG in Atlantic City last spring to promote Thurman V Garcia, a segment which ended with Swift telling Porter that he can get it, after Kriegel relayed Showtime's message that DSG feared him. So by the time February 2018 rolled around and Showtime decided to bumrush the ring and challenge him in front of the world after leveling Brandon Rios, a pissed off DSG went “Ape Shit” in a way Jay-Z and Beyonce could appreciate. There's been no need to unleash the X-rated and gutter “Ponytail” edition of Angel Garcia for this fight, nor has there been a need for Kenny Porter to produce his own Don King in turn. Their mere presence alone, juxtaposed with what we know they could do or say leading up to the fight, has added a subdued intrigue to Premier Boxing Champion's potential FOTY. Curious as to how fans may see this father/trainer duel, I turned to NY Fights own Abraham “Abe Link” Gonzalez (I give everyone a damn nickname) for his point of view. Our Hollywood ringside correspondent waxed philosophical on how the fathers figure in.
“The fight between Danny Garcia & Shawn Porter will begin, without them knowing it, before they even step foot on a scale in Brooklyn. Confused? Let me explain. Both men were brought into this fight game by their fathers for two completely different reasons. On one hand, Kenny Porter had a 12 round fight with life growing up without his father and found a sport that would allow for him to be with his son almost every step of the way. On the other hand, Angel Garcia was what you would call a typical Puerto Rican in those times as he was a boxing fan who wanted his son to grow to be a fighter and be there 100% to watch him grow. As time went by and success grew, Kenny Porter utilized it to promote his son the way he felt would be best without sacrificing their image. Angel on the other hand, at times felt the need to be more vocal than necessary as he felt it was needed to sell an event and/or image. From the outside looking in, I see Kenny Porter as more of a game plan type of trainer with zero tolerance for unnecessary distractions while Angel Garcia seems as though he allows Danny to “drive his own train” sort of like an earlier Cotto. In regards to trainers, I have to give the edge to Kenny Porter but as Dads, they are even as they both do things that they feel are in the best interest of their sons.”
—Abraham Gonzalez, L.A. fight aficionado for NY Fights.com
Angel Garcia and Kenny Porter are almost caricatures of their own gangster characters. Porter comes off as the ostentatious and more amiable son of Ving Rhames' Marsellus Wallace from “Pulp Fiction”, while Garcia makes you believe he'd be a perfect new Silvio Dante in a remake of “The Sopranos”.
“I don't see anything special about Shawn Porter. He comes with his head, he comes wild. We're going to take care of him, and we're going to work on him. He's wild and he's crazy; he's not bringing a lot of skills to the table that I haven't seen before. You heard my son, it's ‘The Danny Garcia Show'. At the end of the day, we got a fight with a football player… That belt is coming home with us and back to Philadelphia.”
—Angel Garcia, on how him and his son basically plan on beating the Cleveland Browns
It was a father figure in Cus D’Amato that made Mike Tyson boxing's favorite villainous son, but he proved to be an orphan in search of a hero without him. Roy Jones Jr. had a not so well known disdain for his father's methods that turned him into a supernatural athletic machine and an all-time great. Tito Trinidad did OK with Papa Felix in the ring pulpit. The world witnessed Floyd Mayweather's tumultuous journey to “TBE” behind skills honed by a father he often times wanted to disown. We loved the smiling duo of Jack and Sugar Shane Mosley, just as we remain riveted by the running saga of “The Matrix” and the masterful maker of Loma. I think of DSG V Showtime and think of two fathers who love their sons the way Billy Collins Sr. did his own, while wanting to protect them from the fate of his son. Behind all the subterfuge they're decent. They all might even share a bottle of “Just For Men” when it's over.
Up next… ‘DSG' V ‘Showtime' [Vol.III]: Game of Throws