As rants go, it was one of Angel Garcia’s more docile ones.
It was PG instead of X-rated. It was more Rodney Dangerfield than Roger Mayweather.
But one thing never changes. Whenever the father and trainer of world junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia steps in front of a microphone, stuff happens.
Danny Garcia, the undefeated WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion, faces Lucas Matthysse on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez megafight.
And while Angel Garcia didn’t try to psych out the 29-year-old Argentine challenger, he didn’t mince words at Thursday’s final news conference at the MGM.
“Who has he fought?” Garcia asked rhetorically of Matthysse, who is 34-2 with 32 knockouts. “You look at the list of guys he’s fought, and you can maybe name four guys. The rest are a bunch of bums.
“And he thinks he’s going to come here to the USA and take Danny’s belt back to Argentina? I don’t think so.”
Angel Garcia knows how to play mind games. He had Amir Khan so worked up before Khan and Danny Garcia met in 2012 at Mandalay Bay that Khan lost his focus and was knocked out in the fourth round, losing his WBA 140-pound title in the process.
“I knew Khan had no chin, so I just pointed that out,” Angel Garcia said matter-of-factly. “It’s his fault that he believed me, not mine.”
The elder Garcia, 50, has had a hard life. He spent two years in prison after being convicted of cocaine trafficking. He overcame a bout with Stage 4 throat cancer. He has had plenty of scraps himself, inside and outside the gym in his hometown of Philadelphia.
But the opportunity to work with his son has kept him going. So if he feels like bragging about his kid, he doesn’t care what people think.
“That’s what kept me going, the idea I would never see my kids again, it made me fight to stay alive,” said Garcia, who was diagnosed in 2007 and declared cancer-free in 2009. “You don’t always get a second chance in life. But I’m truly blessed.”
Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) said his father has a gift that most trainers don’t.
“He knows how to motivate and to teach,” he said. “He knows how to get the best out of me. That’s why we work so well together and why I won’t let anyone else train me.”
Angel Garcia said the key for him is knowing his 25-year-old son gives him 100 percent when they prepare for a fight.
“I can tell Danny, ‘You gotta run,’ and he’s going to do it,” Angel Garcia said. “He’s very easy to train because he listens. When he was young, I told him, ‘Knowledge is free. Be a good listener,’ and thank God he took my advice.”
Angel Garcia would love to train other fighters and prove he didn’t just get lucky with his kid. But he knows his abilities, and he’s not going to train someone just to prove a point to his critics.
“I know guys who train six, seven, 10 guys and maybe they get 60, 70 percent from them,” he said. “I don’t work that way. You want me to train you? You better bring 100 percent every day.”
Angel Garcia isn’t going to dial down the rhetoric, either. He might have cleaned up his comments Thursday, but he’s never going to stray from who he is.
“That’s me,” he said. “I gotta keep it real.”
As proud as he is of his son for winning the world championship and successfully defending it four times, Angel Garcia is prouder of the way his son has carried himself outside the ring.
“I’m more proud of the man Danny has become than the champion he has become,” he said. “He’s respectful and always handles himself with class.”
Angel Garcia said the fact that his son is an underdog — he is plus-200 and Matthysse is minus-240 — even though he’s the champion just gets him more fired up.
“Vegas don’t know nothing; you don’t know nothing,” Angel Garcia told the assembled media. “I know everything. I’m the most underrated coach there is. He’s the most underrated fighter there is.
“I won’t be here Saturday backwashing my words. If Danny loses, I’ll cut my hair off.”
■ NOTES — The odds on the Mayweather-Alvarez fight in the MGM Resorts sports books moved from minus-240 to minus-260 for Mayweather. Alvarez is up to plus-210. … Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said extra seats have been added for the fight and the live gate has grown from $19.5 million to $20,003,151. … Today’s weigh-in inside the Grand Garden begins at 2:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.