Garcia: Paulie is no puppet; I respect him as a fighter

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Angel GarciaThere is a misconception that Danny Garcia has been a welterweight for quite some time, which is not the case. This Saturday will be Garcia’s first official fight at 147 lbs. (welterweight), although he has been fighting catch-weight bouts and hasn’t fought at junior welterweight (140 lbs.) – the weight class in which he reigned supreme for years.

When Garcia meets Paulie Malignaggi live on PBC on ESPN at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, it will be his first official fight as a welterweight. Some fans are discrediting Paulie as an opponent and are accusing Garcia of “cherry picking” his opponents.

But Malignaggi is a very credible opponent, especially when you consider that it is Garcia’s first fight in the weight class. Many fighters who make the jump from 140 lbs. to 147 lbs. usually fight a softer touch, and rarely do they fight a former world champion.

Angel Garcia, Danny’s father/trainer, is getting tired of the lack of respect Danny is getting and was quick to remind everyone what Danny accomplished at junior-welterweight. Angel remembers when everyone assumed Danny would dodge Lucas Matthysse a few years back, but he ended up fighting the “machine” that everyone was supposedly afraid of, even though Danny was the lineal champion.

Angel says that when Matthysse was offered up he was the third name on the list of fighters presented to them. Angel then asked Haymon who the killer at junior-welterweight was and who everyone was up on and of course Matthysse was that fighter, regardless of the other two names that were given – which Angel never revealed.

Some might say that Angel is living in the past, but the truth is Danny never really had as obvious an opponent after Matthysse to challenge for the junior-welterweight crown.

Angel is just as upset with the lack of respect Paulie is getting and he knows that the matchup is a difficult one for Danny.

“Paulie is good, but Danny is better. I’m not using Paulie as no example or no puppet. I respect Paulie as a fighter,” Angel said.

Angel isn’t using Paulie as a barometer for where Danny stands in the division because the division is mostly young and not as proven as Danny in terms of resume. Still, it will be interesting to see what Danny looks like against Malignaggi and where his performance stacks up against the other top welterweights that have faced him.