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On Saturday, March 4th at 9:00 p.m. eastern, a boxing main event by Premier Boxing Champions through Showtime Boxing will be aired live on CBS (basic television). From Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, undefeated WBA World Welterweight Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) defends his belt against WBC Welterweight Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) in one of the most highly anticipated unification championship fights in recent boxing history.
Shades of Tommy “Hitman” Hearns vs. “Sugar” Ray Leonard (1981) have been tossed around in comparison to the importance of this bout. This division in particular has not had an undisputed champion since Zab Judah more than a decade ago. That is correct, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was never an undisputed champion at any weight class, let alone the heaviest class he fought in. This could potentially be solved with the winner of this fight taking on the winner of the current IBF title holder Errol Spence vs Kell Brook.
Fighter Breakdown: Thurman has made it a point within himself to be a proud people’s champion in addition to becoming a unified welterweight champion of the world by choosing to sign with Al Haymon and fight on basic television which he has succeeded thus far. During this camp, Thurman has been quoted on Showtime saying “I’d rather have 10 million people watch me than make 10 million in PPV”. Nothing could be better for the fans than an attitude like that as boxing has drifted away from affordability, furthering the fans from viewing the most anticipated fights and perpetuating boxing as a niche’ sport. Thurman as a showman is no different inside the ring.
The power the Welterweight champ possesses is truly the reason he is called “One Time”. The only question is can he land that right hand? Despite having power even at a higher weight class, Thurman has been known to open himself up when he gets aggressive and is prone to taking shots that may cost him in later rounds facing his toughest test yet in Garcia. Within having his natural power, his boxing technique can become suspect if he becomes frustrated not getting early round knockdowns. Going up against an opponent with a chin like Garcia makes this an interesting power vs. counter attack. Thurman hasn’t knocked any one out since Jesus Karass.
Nobody currently in the lighter weight classes gets more garbage talk thrown at themselves than Garcia. Love him or hate him, it’s easy to acknowledge that he has been labeled a cherry picker for his lack luster opponents. But didn’t Thurman also score a unanimous decision win over Robert Guerrero, just like Garcia did to win his own WBC welterweight belt? That’s the interesting part of boxing, one could view a similarly fight and walk away with completely different opinions on those fighters involved.
Garcia will bring a technically sound, pure boxer style into Saturday night’s fight most likely countering back accurately before setting up shots of his own. With a chin and patience, it will be hard for Thurman who can get wild at times, gassing himself out to out-point Garcia. Thurman may need an early flash knockdown getting a 10-8 scored round before the middle of the fight. Judges are humans although each round is scored separatel. One can’t forget any knockdown or act like there’s no momentum when damage begins to mount on a fighters face.
Prediction: This fight is so 50/50 that a rematch is almost inevitable but with each preview must come a prediction and I’m going with the underdog by split decision… AND NEW Unified Welterweight Champion of the World, Danny “Swift” Garcia! 115-113