Thurman vs Garcia

Conrad M. Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

Boxing fans better not miss this fight! I am talking about the clash on March 4 between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, who are both undefeated and mean hitters.

The 28-year old Thurman (27-0 with 22 knockouts) has held the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight (147 pounds) title since July 2013 and is acknowledged as one of the sport’s new superstars.

On the other hand, Garcia (33-0 with 19 KOs) is the current World Boxing Council welterweight champion since January 2016 and the former WBC, WBA and The Ring junior welterweight (140 pounds) title holder. He is also 28 years old.

The bout is a “winner take all” event or whoever wins will go home with the WBC and WBA world welterweight titles. The loser must pick up the pieces but can aspire to collar the International Boxing Federation, International Boxing Organization or World Boxing Organization welterweight titles.

Although Thurman has a higher knockout percentage (81.5 percent vs 57.5 percent), he will in for a tough fight against Garcia who, like Thurman, has faced respectable opposition.

Among the noteworthy opponents of Thurman are knockout artist Diego Chaves, Jesus Soto Karass, Robert Guerrero and Shawn Porter. Garcia’s list includes Amir Khan, knockout artist Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson and Guerrero.

So who has the edge?

From the videos of the two fighters that can be accessed in Youtube, Thurman definitely has better one-punch knockout and knockdown power, but Garcia has proven to be a hard nut to crack. In fact, both fighters can take a punch.

Both are also not mindless sluggers and size up their opponents in the early rounds. A close look at the championship fights of Thurman show he rarely stops an opponent inside three rounds, and four of his seven bouts where a title was at stake went the distance.

As for Garcia, four of his eight title fights ended in a stoppage, but only two of the four stoppages went beyond three rounds.

So what does that mean? While fans will surely be clamoring for a stoppage or knockout, the bout between Garcia and Thurman could go the distance or end in a close decision.

But I will not expect either of them to show much respect for each other’s punching power by clinching excessively or back pedaling. While both fighters can box, they are not counterpunchers.

Whether the fight will end in a knockout, stoppage or decision, one thing is for sure—this is a rare fight in today’s business-oriented boxing world. We should even commend both fighters for staking their undefeated records, because the loser will need at least two years or a very clever manager to recover. A knockout will also shatter the invincible image of the losing fighter.

As for the winner, the options could be endless and a fight against World Boxing Organization (WBO), WBC and The Ring junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford could be a reality. Or against Canelo Alvarez, the current WBO light middleweight (154 pounds) and WBC and The Ring middleweight titles (160 pounds).

If Thurman wins, he can eye a fight against Alvarez at light middleweight because he has been fighting at welterweight for a longer time. And If Garcia loses, he can gamble fighting Crawford and if he wins, that would help him get back for another title run at welterweight.

But for now, fight fans better block off the date when Thurman and Garcia slug it out in the ring.


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