This week, Boxing returns to national free TV for the 2nd consecutive week as CBS will be carrying the PBC Boxing promoted event live from the Barclays Center. In the main event, we have a Welterweight unification bout with two undefeated fighters. Live from Brooklyn, New York, the WBA Welterweight Champion, Keith “One Time” Thurman, will square off against the WBC Welterweight Champion, Danny “Swift” Garcia.
Keith Thurman enters the ring with an unblemished record of 27-0 with 22 stoppages. He is coming off the most impressive win of his career with a unanimous win over Shawn Porter. Some of his other notable wins include Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass. Thurman was known as a person who KO’d everyone, but as he has stepped up in competition, the KOs don’t come as easy. He is still considered a top 2 or 3 Welterweight and his punching power should be respected. Thurman may not have the greatest resume, but the skill is there.
Thurman is a big talker. He is the same fighter that called out Floyd Mayweather after he beat Carlos Quintana when he was relatively unknown to casual fans and had fought no one good previously. However, since his stoppage of Soto Karass, everyone has kept an eye on Thurman and now think he could be ready to finally take his place at the top of the welterweight division, the place where if you listened to him, he said he always belonged.
Danny Garcia also has an unblemished record, with him coming in at 33-0 with 19 KOs. He, unlike Thurman, has more than a few top names on his hit list. Two of the biggest names on Garcia’s resume include Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysee. However, for Garcia, it doesn’t end there, as he also has wins over Kendall Holt and Lamont Peterson. Also, even though they were all past their primes at the time, he does have victories over Paulie Malignaggi, 2 wins over Erik Morales, and 1 over Zab Judah.
Unfortunately for Garcia, his story doesn’t end there. The win over Lamont Peterson was a fight that many people had as a draw or him losing and most fans think that Mauricio Herrera beat Garcia in what was built up as Garcia’s homecoming, in Puerto Rico. The bigger issue with Garcia is his inactivity, he seems to get one good fight every two years. For someone who is in the prime, Garcia seems to be wasting a lot of the momentum he builds after big victories.
For Thurman to win this fight, he’s going to have to apply constant pressure to Garcia. One thing that has been very evident in the fight that Garcia has had trouble in, pressure bothers him. Garcia is one of the best in the sport at timing punches. He also has one of the best, left hooks in the sport and it comes out of nowhere. For Garcia to win the fight, he must time Thurman coming in and possibly use some of the grabbing tactics that he used vs. Matthysee.
When all is said, and done, even though people may not like how he does it, all Danny Garcia does is win. Thurman is not naturally a pressure fighter, he’s more of the, see it hit it, guy. I think this plays into Garcia’s hands because it will allow Garcia to dictate the range, while not getting flustered and frustrated from a pressure attack. Because of all of this, my pick is Garcia does just enough to win and gets what could be another close, possibly controversial, decision.
This fight kicks off what will be a stupendous month of boxing. This fight should be a top-notch battle. Next week should be a slugfest with David Lemieux facing Curtis Stevens. The week after that will be the debut of Michael Conlan and a battle between two of the top Middleweights in the world as Gennady Golovkin returns to the ring to face Danny Jacobs. And finally, the month is ended off with Jorge Linares going to Manchester, England, to defend his WBA Lightweight belt against Anthony Crolla. What a month to be a boxing fan, enjoy the fights.