3 More Rounds

Garcia, Malignaggi ready to go

Photo: Lucas Noonan / Premier Boxing Champions

Photo: Lucas Noonan / Premier Boxing Champions

On Saturday ¬†night, Danny Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) will make his official debut at 147 pounds, despite competing at catchweights above the junior welterweight limit in recent fights. Garcia, who was the unified champ at 140-pounds, finally had to relinquish those titles as he could no longer continue to fight in a lower division, and on Saturday night, he’ll take on former welterweight titlist Danny Garcia on Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN.

“We had a tremendous camp, I’ve never felt so strong in my life. For the first time in my career I can actually train to get better,” said Garcia during yesterday’s final press conference in Brooklyn. “I accomplished a lot at 140-pounds and I’m going to do a lot at 147. On Saturday at Barclays Center you’re going to see a spectacular Danny Garcia.”

Garcia is coming off two straight wins against Rod Salka and Lamont Peterson, after five successful title defenses, and is now looking to make a splash at welterweight.

“Everything is better at 147. I feel stronger. My form feels good. The footwork is great. I can eat regularly now. Still disciplined but it’s a lot easier,” added Garcia. “I pay attention to the positive things in my career and that’s getting in the gym and working hard and getting better. That’s my main focus.”

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As for Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs), it’s been a turbulent past two years, as he first lost a split decision to Adrien Broner in a 2013 fight that many felt he deserved to win, followed by a decision win against former two-division champ Zab Judah, and then was TKO’d in April 2014 by Shawn Porter – a fight that many wondered if it would be “The Magic Man’s” last.

“It’s been an emotional camp. I find myself thrust back into the limelight of a major fight when it was least expected. The question marks and doubts come up in my mind and that’s made it emotional. I work hard every day. I’ve quietly had one of my best training camps,” declared Malignaggi.

“There are no excuses here. Saturday night is the best of Paulie Malignaggi. I look forward to testing myself against the best Danny Garcia. I’ve always loved and relish the big names and the big opportunities. Sometimes I lay in bed at night thinking about matchups between fighters. Now I’m thinking of myself in that conversation and we’ll fin out on Saturday how I stack up.”

ESPN will televise the fight from the Barclays Center, along with the co-featured bout of Danny Jacobs vs. Sergio Mora beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

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