Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia the battle for welterweight supremacy
By Joseph Correa
Brooklyn- Unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Keith 'One Time' Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) and fellow unbeaten WBC welterweight champion Danny 'Swift' Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) will meet in a welterweight unification bout March 4, 2017 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
The winner of this super fight will stake his claim as the number one welterweight in the world and claim his place amongst the top pound for pound fighters in the sport. This historic bout is only the tenth of it's kind in the welterweight division in the history of the sport.
Thurman, the WBA champion, and Garcia the WBC champion will unify the same titles that Tommy Hearns (WBA) and Sugar Ray Leonard (WBC) unified in their 1981 fight of the year.
Even more interesting, this is only the third time in the history of the sport that two undefeated welterweights will meet in a unification bout and the first since the mega fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad met in 1999.
The fight will be broadcast on CBS in primetime and will be the first unification match-up on network television in any division in over two decades. This bout is also just the second primetime boxing event on CBS in nearly 40 years. The first being Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter in 2016.
This is very much a career defining fight for both men and stylistically this should make for a very exciting fight.
Keith Thurman is known for being a boxer with big time power in both hands, great movement, and a cerebral approach to his craft while his opponent Danny Garcia is a patient, counterpuncher with excellent timing and a powerful left hook.
Garcia likes to fight at mid-range and capitalize in between his opponents offense. Thurman likes to move and box setting up his power shots.
One thing is for sure, March 4th there will be fireworks and one man will leave Brooklyn as the unified welterweight champion of the world.
Below are some quotes from Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia regarding their upcoming fight on March 4.
Question: Keith, your thoughts about where this fight lies perhaps in the history of boxing?
Boxing is all about is making history. That's my ultimate goal is to not just make a living for myself, not just live my American dream and accomplish my goals as an athlete but my ultimate goal has been, ever since I was a child, is to make history in the sport of boxing so that when I'm done boxing, people get to remember who Keith "One Time" Thurman really was, what he brought to the welterweight division and hopefully, arguably, when people start talking about their favorite fighters and the greatest fighters of all time that there will be somebody standing in a circle who said "I really love that boy, Keith 'One Time' Thurman." For me, that's what it's all about.
Question: Keith, tell us why you think you're going to win on March 4th?
Well, it's because I'm an undefeated champion and I've never lost. I feel strong. I have a strong amateur background. He does, too. This is my life. This is what I do. I love the challenge. I love the fight game. I love another man trying to get the best of me right in front of me, going toe-to-toe with me. I just live for it.
I'll never back down. I'm bigger than Danny naturally. He was always smaller than me in the amateurs. He's smaller than me in the pros. He's moving up. He might hold his weight well but I'm just a little bit bigger. So that gives me some confidence there.
We both have great records, great resumes, lots of knockouts, but I have less fights, more knockouts. So I believe that I do punch harder and that I'll just edge him out statistically a little bit and it's just going to come down to the fight who lands the right punches at the right time and strength and conditioning and just everything that the fight game is about. I always come prepared for this kind of fights. I'm just looking forward to it.
Nowadays, win, lose or draw, I'll always be a champion. I'm not worried about nothing. I'm not worried about my reputation. Like I said, I'm living my dream. I'm trying to make history.
But it's not easy to be Keith Thurman, I got an '0' and I'm not afraid to let it go. If you can beat me, beat me. I'm going to shake your hand at the end of the fight. I'm going to congratulate you at the end of the fight. But I don't bow down to nobody and I know that I'm the greatest challenge that most fighters will ever face. So that's where my confidence comes from and, you know, I'm just looking forward in the fight. It's going to be a great fight.
Question: Keith, do you feel that if you win this fight that you will be the so-called face of boxing?
The winner of this fight is going to be the man of 147 division. Lately, the welterweight division, whoever is at the top of 147, kind of has been the face of boxing and it is due to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao and things of that nature. The heavyweight division is coming back but the fight fans, true boxing fans, they're on everything, They're onto Triple G, Canelo, Wilder and Joshua.
But still, with all that going on, 147 is a tremendous weight class and the winner of this fight is going to get a little bit of what I call "spotlight priority". They're going to step up into the world of boxing. They're going to get talked about a lot more. And they're going to get some high expectations sent upon them. This is what it is, man. It's what comes when you are champion and you stay champion and you keep making a name for yourself.
It's our job to fight. It's our job to win. And it's your guy's job to talk about it and we're always willing to do these interviews and things of that nature. So it's just what comes with the territory. But I'm looking forward to making history at 147 and holding down this weight class for few more years.
Question: Danny, your about the unifying of those belts that those great fighters had and the rarity of this welterweight unifications?
Yes, it feels good. It's an honor. At the end of the day, you know, I feel like I'm this caliber of fighter. I'm an old school fighter in the streets of Philadelphia. I feel good that we fight for those titles and it gives me the opportunity to win my fourth world title.
Question: Danny, why do you feel so confident you're going to win this fight?
I'm a true champion. I've been in the big fights before. I've been in unification fights before. I feel I'm the better fighter. I always rise to the occasion. And that's pretty much it. At the end of the day, Danny Garcia, he comes to fight and he comes to win.
Question: I've read where you said that if you win this fight, you feel like you will be the face of boxing. Why do you say that?
Well, if you look at the last five years in the sport of boxing since 2012 and you look at the level of opposition that every other champion faced and you look at the level of opposition that I faced and the divisions that I won and unified are the hardest divisions in the sport of boxing. So the people I see in the last five years and titles that I won, it makes me the face of boxing.
This is a can't miss fight and fans will be treated to what could potentially be one for the ages. The card also features rising star Erickson Lubin who will be squaring off against knockout artist Jorge Cota in a super welterweight title eliminator bout.
Feature Photo: AmandaWestcott/Showtime