Get ready for the first step in crowning true welterweight king

The week before Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez finally meet in their long-awaited rematch in Las Vegas, Barclays Center will be host to a potentially more explosive matchup when Danny Garcia faces Shawn “Showtime” Porter with the WBC welterweight title at stake.

The former champions will collide Sept. 8 in what can be legitimately viewed as the beginning of the elimination process toward an undisputed king in boxing’s 147-pound division. There are still plenty of contenders, including Keith Thurman, who has been out with injury; Errol Spence, the very impressive IBF champion; WBO champ Terrance Crawford; Manny Pacquiao; and perhaps Mikey Garcia. While it figures to takes months, if not years, before one of them will be considered the best of the era, Garcia versus Porter feels like a step in that direction.

“The main event is sensational,” said Lou DiBella, who is promoting the card. “If you’re a boxing fan and you understand that styles make fights and who’s who in boxing, you can’t make a much more compelling or interesting matchup than Porter and Garcia. Everyone says a fight [is] can’t-miss and it’s mostly hyperbole, but in this case, it’s not really hyperbole. Garcia is pretty much a straight-ahead guy that fights, and Porter is a pressure fighter who is never in a bad fight. As a fan, I love the main event.”

Showtime will televise. Garcia lost the WBC title in a split decision to Thurman in April 2017. Thurman hasn’t fought since undergoing surgery, while Garcia bounced back with a stoppage of Brandon Rios in February. Porter won the IBF belt in 2013 by beating Devon Alexander at Barclays Center but lost it to Kell Brook a year later. Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) has won twice since. The winner Sept. 8 is sure to get another megafight early next year, if not sooner.

“There have been big fights previously,” DiBella said, mentioning Garcia’s unification fight with Thurman. “And Garcia and Porter will continue to have quality careers after Sept. 8 if we have the kind of fight that we anticipate. But someone is taking a step closer to supremacy in the division. The winner of this fight is pretty much a final-four welterweight.”

Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) said he belongs in that group.

“I’m excited for this fight because I’m a world championship-level fighter and this gives me the chance to be back where I’ve been for so long,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who it’s against. I’m just happy to be back and fighting for the title.”

Porter is happy, too.

“After watching Danny do what he does and hearing him say what he’d do to me, I got stirred up to the point where I really wanted this fight,” Porter said. “I made that known after his fight against Brandon Rios. This is a great opportunity to get the fight I wanted for my career. I’m thriving right now, and you’ll see it on fight night.”

Garcia is from Philadelphia, while Porter is from Akron, Ohio, but both feel at home at Barclays. This will be Garcia’s seventh fight in the building, while Porter is making his fifth appearance.

“It’s a great way to restart Brooklyn Boxing in post-summer,” DiBella said. “The Barclays Center has become a home venue for both of them.”

Tickets remain available.

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