Danny Garcia

Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia Fight-Night Preview

Thurman vs. Garcia Amanda Westcott

All photos by Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Saturday night March 4, Keith “One Time” Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) and Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) will battle it out in a world Welterweight championship unification bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

This epic clash of two undefeated 147-pound champions will be televised by Showtime Championship Boxing on CBS. These are the kind of fights boxing needs–two of the best going at it in a toe-to-toe battle, putting their belts and their undefeated records on the line.

Thurman vs. Garcia is a highly anticipated showdown for boxing fans. Many believe Thurman vs. Garcia is going to be a guaranteed Fight of the Year candidate. 1981’s Fight of the Year between Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns was a unification of the exact same titles– let’s hope Thurman and Garcia put on a similar show.

Thurman has some advantages going into this fight Saturday night, he is perceived as the bigger fighter and the stronger puncher. Thurman also has a loyal fan base whereas Garcia is one of those fighters many fans love to hate.

One Time is a very well-rounded fighter, in his fight against Shawn Porter he proved he could do just about anything–he used his ring IQ, he boxed and he brawled when he had to. fThough Garcia will probably not give him the same problems Porter did, he is going to challenge Thurman. With that being said, Thurman is adaptable and is able to executive various plans.

While Thurman has probably been tested by stiffer competition to date, especially recently–Garcia knows how to win fights. Garcia is one of the smartest fighters in the sport today. Swift is a very appropriate alias for Garcia because he is crafty, he knows how to work the ring and avoid getting himself into trouble. Another huge advantage for Garcia is his counterpunching. If Garcia can bait Thurman into making aggressive mistakes, his counterpunches could be a huge difference maker in this fight.

While this fight will definitely be competitive, the biggest question for Garcia is level of opposition at the 147-pound weight class. Thurman is easily on a completely different level than previous Welterweights he has fought including Paulie Malignaggi, Robert Guerrero and Samuel Vargas.

In a recent media conference call with Lou DiBella, Danny Garcia was asked if he felt that he had lined up the right fights to get himself into the right position for this weight class.

“I’m tough for the weight class. I got big shoulders. So I definitely feel like Welterweight is my natural weight class. I was just squeezing myself down through the years and I’m happy that I’m able to let my body grow and filling to the Welterweight division,” said Garcia.

It is clear Garcia does not feel that fighting Thurman as a Welterweight will be an issue. Garcia is confident in his fight camp and preparation for the fight Saturday night.

“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,” said Garcia.

Thurman is never shy about his confidence and excitement leading up to fights. When One Time was asked why he thinks he’s going to win on March 4, he spoke freely.

“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,” said Thurman.

“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 fighter 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.”

-Keith Thurman

This fight is going to be a war–a unification bout between two undefeated fighters in their prime, looking to prove they are the best Welterweight in the sport of boxing today.

This is rare fight and it should not be missed. Will we see a Fight of the Year candidate emerge Saturday night at Barclays Center? I would not be surprised.

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