“I tell people all the time, nobody wants to be hit. You have to trick a man to hit a man.”
—Keith “One-Time” Thurman, WBA welterweight champion
To which WBC welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia has a few treats. Yep, this fight is something owls would die for, October's own but it's looking like it's March 4th. Look, you got cha wish don't have to buy this first. This time they really going off: Fireworks.
WBC Welterweight Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19KO's)
WBA Welterweight Champion Keith “One-Time” Thurman (27-0, 22KO's)
When: Live on CBS, 9p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
THURMAN V GARCIA: WHO WINS
I expect Keith Thurman to start off very fast and to expend a lot of energy from the opening bell. Will coming from around 172 lbs to make 147 prove to be a problem this time? We'll have to see. But the Thurman camp wanting to use USADA over VADA is a little disturbing (it was USADA who gave Floyd Mayweather the pass of all passes against Manny Pacquiao).
One-Time is a better overall athlete than Swift, and that much will be very apparent early on. But Thurman does not like to fight in a conventional manner, or, just simply can't, which I believe will have consequences in this fight. Sugar Ray Leonard V Wilfred Benitez this is not. Stylistically (for your true fight heads), this is more like Donald Curry V Milton McCrory, only a far better fight.
Thurman is the “Everlast Bunny,” one who is not likely to stand in the middle of the ring and offer a technically sound package in the pocket. He's not adept at manipulating the nuances of distance control with a textbook jab and precise shot-making. He won't do that because he's not wired to– but Swift fits this profile precisely. Because Keith has such an eidetic memory with Total Recall of Lamont Peterson's success against Danny embedded in his brain, that's how I expect him to fight. He has better legs and feet than Danny. Had Peterson and Garcia fought a back-in-the-day 15 rounds, it's very conceivable that Lamont actually stops Danny.
But a few things about that.
Thurman is not Lamont Peterson, in that, he's not a physically imposing fighter. He loads up and wings a lot of shots, with a penchant for hooking off the back foot while in constant motion. He rarely throws down the pipe. It's important to understand that if Thurman doesn't hurt Garcia early, it will do something to him psychologically, causing him to acquiesce in a bid to simply outscore Swift while hoping to get lucky.
Sure, Danny looked bad against Mauricio Herrera and was rather ordinary against Robert Guerrero. But Thurman was ordinary and calling 911 against Luis Collazo after the grizzled veteran was put in the spin cycle by Amir Khan.
I still hear John Legend singing “Ordinary People” when I think about Thurman's iffy performances against Jesus Soto Karass and Diego Chaves, where he did little to separate himself from those B- fighters. I think “Swift” Rod Salkas both of those fighters. Throw in a near fatal car accident and Vietnam with Shawn Porter; all of a sudden Thurman – no matter his physical resolve – is ripe for the taking. If he somehow finds a way to win on Saturday night, it'll be the most incredible thing he's ever done in boxing.
Something else to keep in mind: Danny ‘Swift' Garcia has never hit the canvas, nor has he been visibly hurt against elite competition. Both has happened to Thurman. A very prime Amir Khan didn't really trouble him with A grade speed and ring generalship; Lucas Matthysse couldn't break him with A grade power; Paulie Malignaggi couldn't grip his mind with A grade intelligence; and Kendall Holt's A grade intangibles didn't matter. Garcia's A grade plodding ability with an iron-will of steel will be too much for Thurman's overall B+ game of balls.
And that's why this will be such a great fight and an instant classic; because short of Swift actually killing Thurman (which he won't, God forbid), it will take the referee jumping in to save Thurman from himself. DVR this one while you watch. In one of the greatest welterweight championship fights you will ever see in your life, Danny “Swift” Garcia will rock Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and score a dramatic 11th round TKO victory over a game Keith “One-Time” Thurman on CBS.
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