Does winner of Garcia-Thurman enter the pound-for-pound list?
January 3, 2017
Editor's note: With respect to the pound-for-pound rankings, we are only looking at the top ten.
For the past few years, Floyd Mayweather Jr. arguably held the top spot in the various pound-for-pound (P4P) lists that exist throughout the press. It was never quite difficult to dispute Mayweather's location within the lists, but the real debate was always in the 2-10 spots.
Now that Mayweather, 39, is retired and has been inactive for more than a year, the P4P discussion has never been more than a debate. For example, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, who both currently hold world titles in the welterweight division, are included in Newsday's P4P ranking, but not ESPN or The Ring. In a majority of the more prominent lists, Thurman and Garcia have yet to make their marks.
Thurman and Garcia are scheduled to meet on March 04, 2017 in a unification bout that will heat up the conversation of the best welterweight in the world. However, Thurman and Garcia will also garner more interest within the P4P discussion following the conclusion of their March showdown. Each is currently undefeated in their 60 combined professional bouts and have each been in tough, strenuous bouts.
Garcia, a Philadelphia native, has been met with some criticism in regards to his last few fights. The level of opposition across from Garcia has not been on par with a fighter who holds a major world title in such a competitive division. But Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) arguably has more notable victories on his résumé as compared to Thurman. Names such as Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson are included in Garcia's 33 wins. Khan, for example, was heavily favored in the matchup, but ended up tasting the canvas multiple times en route to a TKO loss. Matthysse, who had the reputation of being one of the hardest punchers in the super-lightweight division, was knocked down for the first time in his career at the hands of Garcia. He [Garcia] has never essentially been a heavy favorite in his higher-profile fights, but has always managed ways to victory.
Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) maintains a higher knockout percentage throughout his career [than Garcia], and is coming off his most notable fight in a win with Shawn Porter back in June of last year. Thurman hasn't felt the similar criticism that has came toward Garcia, but has displayed his talent as a fighter in the sport. The Porter victory showed the grit and determination in a larger light for Thurman and set up his clash with Garcia.
The winner of this bout will not only be a possible unified world champion, but also will fuel their chances in entering the P4P list. Thurman might be given more credit if one is looking at the most recent bouts, as wins over Porter and Garcia will increase his odds. However, taking into account career opposition, Garcia would also be regarded as a newly crowned candidate for the P4P list. There might be (and surely there is) critics that say the winner still does not belong on the list, as other fighters throughout other weight divisions have been more consistent in their performances with respect to their ranking. Nevertheless, two of the more prominent 147 pound fighters are squaring off with world titles on the line, in a fight that no logical boxing fan can complain about. This is the best fighting the best, and two undefeated fighters in the prime of their careers.
So, once again, does the winner of this match deserve a spot on the various P4P lists, or will the competition still be too high that not even a bout of this caliber could amass a spot? Maybe March 05, 2017 will give the boxing world a better frame of reference to work with.
Daniel Zaldivar is a Senior Writer for Frontproof Media and also contributes to page2sports.com. He is the founder of Z-BoxingNews (a partner with Frontproof Media), a YouTube channel that delivers the latest news, interviews, fighter workouts, & analysis within the sport. Check out the Z-BoxingNews YouTube channel HERE. Also follow on Twitter @DannyZ_Boxing
(Feature photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)