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Garcia gunning for strong welterweight debut against Malignaggi

Since viciously tearing through Lucas Matthysse in September 2013, undefeated American Danny Garcia has been far from his devastating best in the ring, but he hopes to change that on his welterweight debut against Paulie Malignaggi.

At the Barclays Center in New York, ‘Swift’ Garcia will look to make a huge statement at 147-pounds, but will face a stern test from the 34-year-old ‘Magic Man’, who is 5/1 with Coral to deliver a maiden defeat to his unbeaten opponent.

Garcia holds very fond memories of the venue of his welterweight showdown, having dispatched both Lamont Peterson and Rod Salka there in his past two bouts, as well as Zab Judah and Erik Morales since 2012.

Peterson Garcia Boxing

However, having been fighting at 140-pounds for almost a decade, Garcia found it increasingly difficult to make the weight in recent bouts and struggled to make the necessary trimmings, now opting to move up to welterweight.

“I would say I was at around 65, 70 percent of what I’m capable of in my last three fights. That’s just not me. I don’t like fighting that way. I like to go into fights prepared.” stated Garcia.

“I like to feel I can go a whole 12 without questioning whether or not I have anything left in the later rounds. I haven’t really felt 100-percent since the Matthysse fight. To be honest with you, I felt like my 140 days were over after I beat Matthysse.”

The untoppled American now has the chance to showcase his true talents and rediscover his ferocious natural abilities in the ring, with the 27-year-old odds-on 1/8 to secure a 31st career victory (30-0).

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Though, ‘the Magic Man’ poses a threat, with one of boxing’s colourful characters having only been stopped for the first time in four years by Shawn Porter in his last bout, just the third time in his long-standing career. Notably, his other two stoppage defeats came at the hands of British duo Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton in 2010 and 2008 respectively.

“You gotta bring the best of what you’ve worked on,” Malignaggi stated. “I think I have a style that gives people fits. That’s why they call me the ‘Magic Man’.”

Malignaggi will hope to banish any memories of those losses in his first ring outing since April last year, while Garcia aims to make dominant debut in what could be a promising step-up to welterweight.

On the undercard, WBA world middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs defends his crown against Sergio Mora, with the latter 6/1 to inflict only a second career defeat on his opposition in New York.