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March 04, 2017 Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA for the Following Titles:
WBC World welterweight title
WBA Super World welterweight title
Keith Thurman beats Danny Garcia by split decision in unification bout
Unbeaten welterweight boxer Keith Thurman added one more feather to his hat on Saturday night. The 28 year beat rival Danny Garcia by split decision to add the WBC welterweight belt to his WBA welterweight one. The unification bout between Thurman and Garcia took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
When curtains came down on the CBS broadcasted match, two judges scored it 116-112, 115-113 for Thurman whereas the remaining judge scored it 115-113 for Garcia. The duel took place in front of a ringside audience of 16,533.
Even though the match was quite engaging, many fans and analysts alike have described it as a rather actionless match. It had been expected to deliver some spiced up action now that it was pitting together two undefeated welterweight champions.
Thurman showing aggression at the start
Going into the unification fight, Thurman was the favorite to win and this was even evident as the fight started. Thurman shone in the opening round as he hid behind his jabs and fired fierce shots at his opponent. He sent Garcia wobbling on his feet twice, first with a hard left hook and then the second time with a solid right. He was also in time to land Garcia another right just before the bell sounded to end the first round.
Thurman kept making use of right and lefts through the second and third rounds while Garcia mainly concentrated on working the body.
A fourth round comeback for Garcia
Garcia, also 28, picked up more pace at the start of the fourth round. He was intent on being at par with the American and therefore kept aiming calculated body shots. He was however dealt a blow just before the round ended as Thurman handed him a sharp left.
In spite of that fierce left that Thurman had landed his way, Danny stayed firmly in the fight and even managed to deal Thurman a hard right counter punch in the sixth round. It was at this point that Thurman decided to switch to movement to help him evade Garcia while at the same time trying to land him punches. These movements continued for the better part of the latter rounds and even prompted fans to break into boos to protest the low exchanges within the ring.
Thurman’s action of switching into movement at the expense of punches in the latter rounds is comparable to Oscar De La Hoya’s actions years back. De La gave away his lead late into the 1999 welterweight unification fight against Felix Trinidad by circling instead of punching. Unlike De La Hoya though, Thurman managed to retain his lead in the end.
It was however not just movements all through, the two boxers tried to put some action into the fight as each of the rounds closed by exchanging some punches. Garcia is argued to have won the very last round.
Reactions following the fight
Even though Thurman was in the end announced as the winner in the end, each of the two boxers had assumed they had won the match when it came to a stop. Garcia (33-1, 19KOs) said that he had thought he had been the aggressor and the one who dictated the match’s pace. Thurman 28-0-1, 22KOs) on his part said that he had thought he was the clear winner because he felt he had outboxed Danny.
Danny’s father and trainer Angel Garcia also reacted to Thurman’s actions within the ring on Saturday night. He accused Thurman for running half the fight. Concerning his movement in the last rounds of the game, Thurman said that he was not giving the fight away but rather just cooling down a bit as he had been already sure of victory.
There could be a rematch for the two boxers.