Tonight will see one of the most eagerly anticipated fights of the year take place, as Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia clash in a mouth-watering Welterweight unification. Lets take a look at everything you need to know ahead of the Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia fight.
9pm start to TV coverage local ET time in the US, which is 6pm PT and 2am Sunday morning in the UK.
CBS in the US, BoxNation in the UK.
CBS All Access.
Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia Fight Preview
And the timing could not have been planned much better.
There has been no waiting around for this fight to be placed on the boxing schedule, but at the same time the reputations of both fighters have grown to a point where a superfight like this can transform the winner into a worldwide boxing superstar.
The American pair have come through some of the elite names in their respective weight classes – most of Garcia’s career thus far has been at Super Lightweight – and remain unbeaten boasting a 60-0(41KO’s) record between them.
Thurman 27-0(22KO’s) is the WBA ‘Super’ Welterweight champion, and has become the people’s favourite in this contest without having to say a word.
And it has not been Garcia 33-0(19KO’s) running his mouth either, instead it has been the father and trainer of the Philadelphian that has rattled the public.
Both have been well commended for their heavy hitting and exciting fighting styles, but we have two fantastic boxing minds pitted against one another, and two fighters that have experience at the top level in abundance.
Thurman’s education to reach a world title was spot on, moving swiftly into world title contenders, taking out all but Jan Zaveck and Leonard Bundu in a two-year span that saw him truly readied for the world stage.
In his first world title fight, Thurman utterly outboxed and even looked as close as anyone ever has to stopping the immovable Robert Guerrero.
Garcia’s world title exploits go back to 2012 when he won the vacant WBC Super Lightweight title against Erik Morales. The points victory was later improved when a left hook ended the career of the legendary Mexican.
Before that second Morales fight however, Garcia added the WBA title to his mantelpiece when his iconic left hook became one of the most recognisable knockout punches in current boxing.
Amir Khan was expected to outbox Garcia throughout the contest – and may well have done – but once again Khan’s chin was in the air at precisely the wrong time, leaving Garcia with a perfect opportunity to elevate his status to that of an up-and-coming star.
Since the Khan and Morales KO’s, Garcia has not scored a knockout in any of his next four world title contests.
But most notably back at 140lbs he boxed wonderfully to beat the feared Lucas Matthysse on points in a fairly significant shock.
But there have been cracks in the armoury of Garcia at his new weight class. He did not impress – and possibly got lucky – in beating Lamont Peterson on points back in 2015, and Robert Guerrero proved far tougher to beat than expected last January when he won the WBC title he stills holds – this is the first defence of that title.
Judging from previous performances, this looks like a near banker for Thurman to stamp his authority as one of the best Welterweights on the planet – and it is one helluva stacked division.
Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia Fight Prediction
Thurman is the naturally bigger of the two, and certainly showed he can deal with opponents who have a strength advantage over him – referring to last year’s clash with Porter. And being the bigger man, Thurman may have the edge in power, although Garcia may just have the better chin of the two.
The dangers of that Garcia left hook seem to be a thing of the past, but for Thurman to think that would be a huge mistake.
This bout has everything it could possibly need to drag people’s opinions one way and then another when attempting to judge how this fight will pan out. For the most part the head says Thurman, but the gut says Garcia.
Thurman is essentially in a position where if he can stick to his boxing, and fight to his maximum potential, then there will be nothing that Garcia can do to avoid a first defeat, even if he elevates his own game.
But Thurman has been dragged into the trenches on many occasions, and maybe this time his chin won’t hold up if Garcia lands flush.
(Hat tip and credit: Showtime YouTube)
However, it seems that Garcia will prove just that bit too slow to catch Thurman off guard with those said left hooks. And due to those slower feet, Thurman will enjoy the ability of controlling the pace and controlling the range.
Many rounds will be close, with the more eye catching punches coming from Garcia, but the activity and high connection percentage comes from Thurman.
All in all, the pick in this Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia fight is for the latter to stick to the plan on the back foot, before slowly backing up Garcia himself as Keith’s better conditioning comes into play.
Both will have been here before in a tight affair heading into the championship rounds, but it will be the WBA ruler to hold onto his lead, being awarded a close but very fair unanimous decision win.
Any questions over who is the leader in this Welterweight division will not be answered on tonight but walking away with an unbeaten record intact and two world championships around their waist will certainly put the victor in a great position to lay claim to that mythical title.