INTERVIEW WITH WBC WELTERWEIGHT CHAMP DANNY GARCIA
This March, undefeated 28-year-old WBC Welterweight Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia faces his biggest challenge in the ring taking on the also undefeated Keith Thurman. The Philly native took a break from his training session, that he jokingly says consists of “running hills, eating rocks and wrestling alligators,” to talk about boxing, family, business and of course Hip-Hop.
WBC Welterweight Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia prepares for arguably the most challenging fight of his career. His next opponent is WBA Welterweight titlist Keith “One Time” Thurman- a hard-hitting knockout specialist with a perfect record of 27-0 but hasn’t fought in over a year. Still, Garcia is listed as an underdog but has no concerns about Thurman. “He’s a good fighter but it’s nothing that I’ve never seen before. I’m a better fighter. He’s a good fighter; I’m a great fighter. And that’s going to show March 4th.” This highly anticipated fight is set to take place in Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center while being broadcasted live on national television bringing mainstream exposure to this decisive matchup.
Garcia is training no differently than his previous thirty-three career fights which all resulted in victories. “I’m not changing anything. I’ve been in big fights before so I just look at it like another name I’m fighting on my resume. I’m going in there and working hard day in and day out to get the job done”. Danny Garcia’s physical stamina and mental discipline is rooted in his native hometown and Latino heritage. “Philadelphia is a great city. It made me who I am. I’m a Puerto Rican from Philly. The tough streets of Philly with my Puerto Rican background and its boxing history were just the perfect mixture” says Swift.
“As a kid growing up in Philly, I loved boxing and I loved rap music. That’s the culture I grew up around”.
His father, Angel Garcia, introduced Danny to boxing at a young age. Angel’s training allowed his son to shine in the ring and in life. Danny plans to pass down the same family values to his children –“I will teach them loyalty. I will teach them hard work. I will teach them that nobody’s ever going to give you anything so you have to go out there and get it. You got to earn it. Put that work in every day and listen to your parents. That’s what I did and that was a big part of my success. That’s what I’m going to pass down to my kids”. Danny is a product of his environment and the love for his city is obvious– his favorite athlete growing up was Allen Iverson, Meek Mill’s “Litty” was his 2016 anthem, and his adorable daughter is ingeniously named Philly Swift Garcia.
Danny’s goals for 2017 are “to keep winning, keep being loyal to my friends, family and fans; make more money to secure my future and keep being a smart business- man.” At the moment, he has no health concerns after his boxing career saying with a warriors attitude, “I know what I signed up for. When the time is time then we will walk away from the sport. A lot of fighters have a lot of health issues when they’re not at the top of their game anymore and they continue fighting for money. But we’re making the right investments, we’re fighting the right fights and we going to get out this game nice and smart”. Further, retirement is not even on Danny’s mind. “A legend told me ‘once a boxer thinks about retiring, he is retired.’ I gotta be mentally and physically ready to keep fighting. I have to continue to train hard and when my body slows down and says you can’t do this anymore then that’s it, but right now I’m 100% healthy. I’m in my prime, I’m feeling good and I’m ready to shine”.
Suppose Garcia reigns as the un- disputed unified Welterweight division champ after March 4th, then future Hall of Fame fighter Manny Pacquiao could be a potential challenger assuming the right purse from promoter Bob Arum. “After this fight, I’ll be the unified champion in my division. I’ll have the two belts, and I’ll be the king of the division so yea, we can make the fight happen, it just has to be on my terms, because it’s a new king in boxing. You know I’m the new star in boxing. I’m the face and they have to accept that so you know I got to get past this fight first and then I’ll be the new Welterweight king so we can make the fight happen on my terms” says Garcia. Without a doubt, a Garcia versus Pacquiao contest sounds exciting even considering the boxers are in opposite stages of their careers and have a 10 year age difference.
As a boxing fan, “Swift” considers the greatest matchup with two fighters in their prime would have been Mike Ty- son against Joe Frazier. And who triumphs that fantasy card? “I love Mike Tyson, I’m a huge fan, but I can’t go against a Philly guy,” says Garcia.
We wish both Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman the best of luck and even better health once they touch gloves in Brooklyn. Garcia claims, “This is a fight people want to see, it’s two young champions in their prime. As a boxing fan you can’t ask for nothing else than a fight like this”. We’re looking forward to an epic battle on March 4, 2017.
If you weren’t a professional boxer, what other profession do you think you’d be? I was always good with my hands. As a kid, I always liked building things so I’d probably be an architect. And I used to love playing football, so it was either football or architecture.
Describe your business ventures outside of boxing. I got the DSG barbershop in my neighborhood where I grew up. We got a small detail mechanic shop and we got the boxing gym. I got the DSG clothing line, it’s doing real good, it’s on my website dsgofficial.com. My dad and me got about three or four rental properties. We want to keep boxing- that’s number one right now and we just try to merge into the business thing a little bit at a time. Buying properties, we’re about to open up a DSG clothing store soon. We’re doing well right now; I got the SiAngie Twins as my artist so we’re entering the music world…DSG Music. We got the music, the clothes, the barbershop, the rental properties, the gym, the detail shop, and the store coming. We’re new to all this stuff so we’re working on it slowly.
What should we know about your younger twin sisters and their aspiring music career? The SiAngie Twins are young superstars in the making. Right now they got the big social media following with a million Instagram followers [@siangietwins] and two million music followers. They’re 15 years old right now and they’ve been singing and rapping since they were 5 years old. I’ve been supporting their dreams and my fans have been sup- porting their dreams since day one. I think in the next couple of years they’re going to be superstars.
What music would we least expect to find in your playlist? I got all rap music but I got a couple Justin Bieber songs in there. I like JB, I think he’s hot. When I want to be in my bag or when I’m with my lady I might put that “All that Matters” on.
What are your thoughts on Hip- Hop music today? Hip-Hop obviously changed a lot. The kids are inspired by this generation. I like listening to this kind of music in the club. I’m the type of person that listens to that motivational music. I want to hear that pain, the struggle and things like that.
Who wins the fight – Chris Brown or Soulja Boy? I don’t know man, whoever’s more prepared. I know none of them really have any boxing experience so that’s 50/50 right there. You really can’t take one side because you might be surprised. I’m a fighter so I know the best fighter is whoever’s ready. You got to leave it up to the pros.
Have you encountered racism or police brutality? Nah, to be honest with you. I’ve been called names growing up. If a cop pulls me over I just give them my license and registration, I stay quiet and I keep it moving. I know people say they [Police] got egos and they know they can do anything they want to you so they waiting for you to say one little thing so they can get you. I just got to be smart.
You are notably an advocate for the prosperity of Philadelphia. Share some of the initiatives you do for the community. Every year we do back- to-school giveaways, free haircuts, we do Christmas, we have Thanks- giving giveaways, and we’re always giving back. My dad and I are always donating money out of our own pocket. My dad had cancer and nobody helped us so we donate money to kids who have cancer and the parents that can’t afford the bills.
In your opinion, what are the com- munity issues that need to be ad- dressed in Philly? I think the leaders and role models in the city have to give back to the community. We have to open up more programs so the kids can have fun and more after school activities so kids can’t get in trouble. Open up recreations center because a lot of them are closing down. Create an art district in Philly like they have in Miami so kids don’t have to spray paint on their neighborhoods and do it where it’s legal. There’s a lot of things we can do but it’s going to take time we just need more voices, to be honest with you.
What are your thoughts on Trump as the new POTUS? At the end of the day he’s the President. I look at it like this…a lot of rappers; entertainers and people are bashing him and these kids are getting that from the people they look up to! Donald Trump is the President so of course I’m going to support him. We have to accept he won fair and square and we have no choice. As Americans, if we want to unite and not be divided like it is right now we have to accept it.
What is your farewell message to President Obama? Obama did a great job. He’s a good president. I like how he embraced the Hip-Hop community. I think Obama’s going down as the coolest President. I don’t think there will ever be a cool President like him again. I think he did a tremendous job, he’s going out how any President should go out and that’s on a good note.