DANNY GARCIA admits he would like more affection from fight fans ahead of his debut at welterweight against Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on August 1.

Having won the WBA Super and WBC world titles at light-welterweight, defending neither in his last two fights, the 27-year-old will make his first foray at 147lbs against former two-weight world champion Malignaggi.

Despite his undefeated record, which includes wins over Amir Khan, Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse, Garcia has failed to garner a significant fan base and would prefer to be more popular.

“I would love for the fans and the media to love me, but it is what it is, they’re tough on me and that’s what keeps the chip on my shoulder and that’s going to make me train hard every day,” he said.

“I’m still happy because, it takes a real man to go in there and put gloves on and fight another man for 12 rounds.

“It takes a lot of discipline. It’s usually hard work for 10 weeks straight waking up every day, doing the same thing, sweat, blood, tears, all that stuff.”

Despite only making the move up to welterweight now, Garcia claims he wanted to do so after his win over Matthysse in September 2013, but is glad it has finally happened.

“I believe right after the Matthysse fight I wanted to move up. I felt like that was a perfect time for me to move up because I beat the best 140-pounder at that time. I had beaten Khan and then I came back and beat Erik Morales and Matthysse.

“I beat two of the best 140-pounders, so I feel like it’s time for me to go up to 147. But they had different plans for me. Me and my team, we decided to stay at 140 for a little longer to see how it played out. I just wasn’t fully strong at the weight class anymore. So I felt like it’s time for me to go up to 147.

“For the first time in a long time, I could worry about training to get better and not training to lose weight. I’ve been fighting at 140 my whole career.

“I just feel felt like losing the weight was affecting my performances, mostly in the later rounds of big fights because I will use a lot of my energy losing weight. I’ve been feeling a lot stronger and a lot better at 147.”