Danny Garcia reveals mental health struggles after win over Jose Benavidez Jr. | DAZN News Spain

The former welterweight champion is back to winning ways.

Danny Garcia won his first match at junior middleweight with a victory over Jose Benavidez Jr. on Saturday night.

Garcia had been out of action since losing a welterweight title fight against Errol Spence Jr. in May 2020, and stepped up a division to face last night’s opponent.

The 34-year-old American went the full 12 rounds to take a majority decision in his favour (116-112, 117-111, 114-114).

Garcia is a former lightweight and welterweight champion and after the fight he explained why he had taken some time away from competitive boxing before attempting a comeback at 154lbs.

“I did take a break,” Garcia said after the fight. “You know, I was going through some mental things. I felt a little dark. You know, I went through a little … ”

“I went through some anxiety and depression. I just tried my best to stay strong. That’s it. … It weighed on me for a year-and-a-half. And I know the only way to get better is to fight and to win. I’m a fighter. This is what I do and I love to do. 

“And I know this is how, if you battle anxiety and depression, you better get over it. This is what I did tonight – I came and I fought my heart out.”

Benavidez now has a second defeat on his record after losing to another  welterweight champion, Terence Crawford, in 2018.

“I’m happy with my performance,” Benavidez said afterwards. “I felt like I did a good job. Pretty much fighting in his backyard, you know? I’m fighting, you know, one of the best of the best. I took his punches like nothing. As you can see, they weren’t hurting me. 

“I honestly felt like I thought I won. But it is what it is: I’m not gonna let this bring me down. You know, a loss just makes you stronger and I’m just happy to be here, and I’m happy to be able to fight at the Barclays Center.”

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