Danny Garcia is from Philadelphia, but if you ask him, he may as well be the King of King's County. Saturday's welterweight meeting with the unsung-to-put-it-lightly Ivan Redkach will be his eighth bout at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. And while his record there isn't spotless -- he's dropped a pair of 147-pound title fights to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter -- the man called Swift very much considers the billion-dollar building on Atlantic Avenue to be his Fortress of Solitude.
So much so that he more or less admitted to looking right past Redkach and ahead to the championship bout a victory will surely earn him.
"There's no pressure on me," Garcia said at Thursday's final press conference in Brooklyn. "I just have to go in there and get this victory. Whatever the future brings, I'm ready, whether it's Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao."
In these terms, Redkach is less a fighter than merely an item on a checklist.
Indeed, the oddsmakers already have this one pegged as a ransacking, as Garcia is something approaching a -2000 favorite. But it's still strange to see Redkach, who's coming off a win against former unified 140-pound champ Devon Alexander, as more or less an afterthought in these proceedings. If anything, Spence and Pacquiao (and the title belts around their waists) loom far larger than one of the two men actually fighting in Saturday's Showtime-Premier Boxing Champion's main event.
For better or for worse, though, it stands to reason. Garcia was supposed to challenge Spence for his WBC championship before the latter's horrific car accident last fall messed with the natural order of things.
"My mind was set on a southpaw, so after we couldn't have the Errol Spence Jr. fight, I wanted the next tough southpaw. We're not looking past Redkach at all," Garcia said at Wednesday's media workouts whilst looking right past Redkach, "but we wanted the southpaw work for that fight or a Pacquiao fight. We'll be all ready when those fights come up."
To know almost certainly that this fight was made to give Garcia a side of beef to grind into a series of sloppy joes while he waited for a title fight to reveal itself may be a teeth-gnashing reality, but this glaringly obvious subtext is a fine summation of where boxing is right now as a sport. For every match made in heaven, there's a heaping pile of lopsided fights that only exist in relation to what they will hopefully-but-not-necessarily lead to next.
Or perhaps, on a night like this one, they're a fine time for a heavy underdog to catch the big man daydreaming.