By Manuel Lira
Is Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman the next great fight or yet another stinker in the sport of boxing?
This Saturday’s prime time matchup between Keith Thurman (27-0) and Danny Garcia (33-0) is being well received in the boxing community. Both Thurman and Garcia are world titlist from the fiercest division in boxing, welterweight.
Danny Garcia goes in to Saturday as the underdog by many experts and betting websites. Why exactly is the two-weight world champion the underdog? Garcia has an impressive resume and is yet to be beaten. Wins over Amir Khan, Lamont Peterson, Lucas Matthysse, and Zab Judah would seem to suggest that Garcia belongs on the p4p list. Skeptics would be quick to point out that Garcia has faced no one of significance since his upset win over Matthysse. The cherry picking Garcia has displayed over the years has diminished his popularity with the boxing community. Another reason doubters are picking Thurman to win is the fact that Garcia struggles when thrown in the ring with strong punchers. Many felt that his decision over Mauricio Herrera in 2014 was an outright gift, given he was the A side.
Keith Thurman goes in to Saturday’s match with a clear punching and mobility advantage. Will that be enough to unify the welterweight division, the first time since the days of Floyd Mayweather. Thurman has one punch knockout power in his hands, as evident by his nickname “One Time”. Although not being able to KO his last opponent, Shawn Porter (26-2), he has been able to knock out 22/26. Even though Thurman has been a world champion since 2015, his first elite level competitor has been Porter. To win this fight Thurman will have to dig deep and use every ounce of his boxing ability ranging from his power to ring movement.
March 4th Saturday night at the Barclays Center will be an exciting night for boxing fans everywhere and will definitely impact p4p lists. The winner will finally get the respect they deserve while the later will be given the “I told you so” treatment by many. The loser’s game will be poked apart as never elite and as a pretender. In this writer’s humble opinion the fighter who can take advantage of the others flawed areas the fastest will walk away as the unified WBA and WBC welterweight champion. As long as the 50-50 match delivers with excitement and no controversial ending, I see it as a win for the sport of boxing.
Keith Thurman Vs. Danny Garcia will be distributed live by Showtime Sports via CBS on March 4, 2017 at 9:00pm ET from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.