Garcia not overlooking underdog Salka
- Updated: August 8, 2014
Danny Garcia makes his return to the ring this Saturday night. The unified super lightweight world champion was last in action this past March in a tough fight against Mauricio Herrera.
While Garcia (28-0, 16 KO) has been heavily criticized for his opponent, light-hitting lightweight Rod Salka, Garcia says he will not overlook the heavy underdog.
“I ran hundreds of miles and sparred hundreds of rounds; this is the opportunity of a lifetime for Rod Salka and he knows what’s at stake,” Garcia said. “But I trained like this is my last fight and I overlook nobody.”
The fight is taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a site where Garcia has grown accustomed to fighting at over the past two years. His first fight at the building came in 2012 against Mexican legend Erik Morales. He says Brooklyn is like a second home to him.
“This is my third fight at Barclays Center and it feels like my home honestly,” Garcia said. “I love the atmosphere here. It was a privilege to be the first fighter to fight for a world title here.”
While some boxers are in the game just to make money, Garcia insists he fights for the love of the sport.
“I’m a boxer because I love to fight. It’s in my heart,” Garcia said. “Sometimes I win a fight and I forget to pick up my check. That’s how much I love boxing.”
Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KO) has taken a completely different road than Garcia to get here. The 31-year-old Pennsylvanian had to take on multiple jobs on the side just to be able to stay in competition.
“When I first started boxing, it was all about survival and staying in the game,” Salka said. “I did everything from serving tables, and other jobs so that I could make money and keep the dream alive of getting to this day.”
Salka began training when he was a student at his college and he has kept setting up his training camp there ever since.
“I trained hard in California University of Pennsylvania. I’ve been training there ever since I was a student,” Salka said. “It’s like a second home and helped prepare me for this fight.”
“The fight is on Saturday so be ready to come out and see a great fight. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen and I’ll talk to you guys after the fight.
Saturday’s card also features another 140-lb bout with IBF champion Lamont Peterson taking on Edgar Santana, as well as a middleweight bout between Danny Jacobs and Jarrod Fletcher.
“It’s fight week. We all know what time it is and I just want to say I’m ready.”
“I had a great camp. I didn’t only train to win the fight, I trained to endure whatever Lamont has to bring. Expect a good fight from me.
“I’m a man of few words but I’m going to be ready on Saturday.”
“God is good. It’s a pleasure to be back. This is my home. I fought here twice before and the love I get here in this building is tremendous
“My late trainer Victor Roundtree passed away and can’t be with us for this special moment so this fight is dedicated to his memory.
“I just want to thank Jarrod Fletcher for giving me this opportunity and to come over here and fight half way across the world – actually all the way across the world. He’s a gentleman and I have a lot of respect for him.
“It’s been very special to get my story to reach the masses and inspire millions across the world. And if I do win, I will be the first cancer survivor to be world champion.”
“This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and it’s been 20 years in the making. I’m fighting Danny Jacobs who is quite the man — and has got a great story about him.
“It’s been a long road but I can’t wait for Saturday night. This is my chance and I’m going to take it.”
Garcia vs Salka will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. and will air live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT.)