Saturday night on CBS it’s Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman in a highly anticipated fight. Get a full preview here.
Saturday night, CBS plays host to Premier Boxing Champions for the highly anticipated clash between Keith Thurman (27-0; 22 KO) and Danny Garcia (33-0; 19 KO). This 147 pound Welterweight fight will unify Thurman’s WBA title and Garcia’s WBC belt. Ring Magazine ranks Thurman as the #2 Welterweight contender behind Kell Brook, with Garcia a few spots below at #7. PBC Boxing Thurman vs. Garcia airs live this Saturday, March 4 on CBS with a fight time of 9:00 p.m. ET. Also included on the broadcast is Chad Dawson vs. Andrzej Fonfara and Erickson Lubin vs. Jorge Cota.
How do these two stack up?
Thurman: 28 years old | 5’7” | 69″ reach | orthodox stance
Garcia: 28 years old | 5’8″ | 68.5″ reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Thurman: W – Shawn Porter (UD) | W – Luis Collazo (TD) | W – Robert Guerrero (UD)
Garcia: W – Samuel Vargas (TKO) | W – Robert Guerrero (UD) | W – Paulie Malignaggi (TKO)
How did these two get here?
Keith “One Time” Thurman has been rising up the Welterweight ranks steadily over the past few years. In 2013 he started really showing up on the map, and in 2015, he was given a big promotional push by appearing in the first ever PBC main event, defeating Robert Guerrero. He’s 2-0 since and coming off a huge win over Shawn Porter last summer. That win was the best of Thurman’s career, and one of the best fights of 2016. Thurman has a reputation as a KO artist power puncher (hence the nickname), but that’s not entirely accurate (he hasn’t actually scored a true KO win since 2013). A highly cerebral fighter, Thurman will thrown down when it’s prudent for him to do so, but he’s shown more and more as of late that he’s also capable of slowing things down and fighting a smart fight. He mixed those two modes together flawlessly in his win over Porter.
Danny Garcia is a consistently underrated world champion. He really took off in 2012 and 2013 – consider this stretch of 5 wins in that time: Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Morales again, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse. That’s a very impressive resume. Despite pulling off all those wins, Garcia frequently remained the underdog in those fights, and he’s the underdog again here. Perhaps that’s due to what has happened since the Matthysse fight. He’s 6-0 since, but most felt he should have lost to Mauricio Herrera, and it’s hard to find a justification for taking on Rod Salka. As a result, he’s developed a reputation for taking the easy fights – this despite the fact that those 6 wins also include Robert Guerrero and Lamont Peterson. Perhaps it’s his outspoken father/trainer Angel Garcia, perhaps it’s something about the way he carries himself, perhaps it’s that he has no one area where he truly excels but is more of a well-rounded all-around fighter – whatever it is, Garcia consistently does not get recognition for the high-caliber fighter he has shown himself to be.
What can fans expect?
What makes this fight so terrific is that it’s very hard to know what to expect. This is definitely the toughest fight of Thurman’s career, and a chance for the 28 year old to make good on his promise and finally take down a true undefeated world champion. At the same time, it’s a chance for Garcia to remind everyone just why he is an undefeated world champion, and to spoil a rising fighter, just as he did against Matthysse. Conventional wisdom is that Thurman has more tools in his toolbox and more power, and that these will be the deciding factors. There’s certainly some validity there – more of Garcia’s wins have come a weight lower at 140, and he will surely be at a strength disadvantage here. But he’s also battle-tested and cagey in a way I have yet to see from Thurman. He knows how to find the gaps in an on paper “better” opponent and exploit those gaps to win. He’s also great at in-fight adjustments – no fight shows these skills better than his spectacular KO of Amir Khan. I like Thurman early in this, but expect to see Garcia stay in there, slowly turn the tide, and control enough of the later portions of the fight to take a close win.
Prediction: Garcia, MD
Who should watch?
You. Because it’s two of the world’s best testing themselves against each other in a perfectly booked fight. This is everything boxing should be, and it’s on free TV. Sorry UFC 209 – THIS is the fight of the night.