Danny Garcia stood in the bowels of Barclays Center on Saturday night and uttered words that, if said in the ring moments earlier, would have resulted in the largest collective eye roll in Brooklyn's history.
"There are no easy fights in boxing," he said.
Garcia could have fooled those who watched his dismantling of Rod Salka in a welterweight bout that headlined a nine-fight card.
Garcia, 26, of Philadelphia, knocked out Salka 2 minutes, 31 seconds into the second round, landing a left hook to the cheek of his overmatched opponent. It was the 17th knockout of Garcia's career and first since Oct. 20, 2012, when he stopped Erik Morales.
Many predicted that Salka (19-4, three KOs) would be nothing more than a punching bag for Garcia. That forecast certainly came to fruition. Once Garcia (29-0) was able to close the distance between the two, a distance kept by Salka's legwork, he let loose with a cavalcade of punches that ended with a knockdown.
"I came here and I did what I was supposed to do . . . I came here to purge," Garcia said. "I told everybody it was going to be the Danny Garcia show. No matter who I fought, [he] was going to get beat. I was out to kill."
Garcia landed 41 of 79 power punches. By comparison, Salka landed eight of 27 power punches and only two of his 42 jabs.
Despite the mismatch, Garcia wouldn't concede that the fight wasn't as competitive as it could have been with a more accomplished opponent. "It takes a lot of heart to get in the ring," he said. "I respect anybody who gets in the ring. I fought fighters who I was supposed to lose to and I beat. It doesn't really matter who I fight. At the end of the day, I come to win and I always find a way to win."
Now attention shifts to who might be the next fighter to challenge Garcia. Speculation in the postfight media session focused on Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), who defended his IBF junior welterweight title with a technical knockout of Edgar Santana (29-5, 20 KOs) in the 10th round.
Although Garcia said he was not overly impressed with Peterson's victory, he seemed on board with a potential matchup.
"We could fight," he said. "It doesn't have to be at 140 pounds. A fight is a fight. Titles are good, but if the fans want to see the fight, we could make any fight happen."