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TCB STAFF / FIGHTER / MEDIA PICKS: GARCIA VS. THURMAN

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Photo Courtesy of Amanda Westcott / Showtime

Paul J Daley, TopClassBoxing, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman – Let me start by confessing to initially not being sold on Keith Thurman, in fact it wasn’t until his last few fights that “One time” even peaked any sort of interest, this was probably around the time of his decision win over Robert Guerrero in 2015, before then he got a couple of decent wins under his belt over the likes of Julio Diaz, Jesus Soto Karass and Leonard Bundu, but none of which to me personally had me impressed to the point where I was raving about this kid from Clearwater, Florida.

Like I say, it was his bout with Guerrero that showed me there was more behind the bluster, he was in fact the world class operator others knew him to be, pushing the fact further still in his latest win over the always tough Shawn Porter. 

Standing across from him on Saturday night, Danny Garcia, represents a man that encompasses the phrase “gets the job done”.

In the past I’ve found myself writing him off only to endure egg on my face, e.g. knocking out Amir Khan, easily outpointing Lucas Matthysse. 

Sure people will throw up his less than convincing wins over Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson where the words “Gift Decision” ring true as well as his less than exciting match up’s with the likes of Rod Stalka and Samuel Vargas,  lending their hand to him not being towards the top of peoples mythical pound 4 pound listings, but at this time perhaps with a little help from the boxing Gods or more specifically Al Haymon he remains unblemished with a record of 33-0. 

In conclusion we should take in to consideration that Thurman is the naturally bigger of the two men but still I find myself drawn to comparisons of Danny’s fight with Matthysse in which he naturalised the hard hitting Argentine, could he do the same here?.

What Danny does well is timing, Thurman will be out to prove a point wanting to live up to his moniker of “One Time” but in between the swinging attempts of finding a stoppage, Garcia will be scoring with well placed counters.

Garcia I feel could get a late stoppage if he was to invest in the body attack early but if I was a betting man I would opt for a twelve round decision in his favour.   

Craig Morgan,TopClassBoxing, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman – This is a great match up, with both men willing to put their undefeated records on the line, in this WBC/WBA Welterweight unification contest.

Garcia has fought the better quality opposition, albeit it mainly down at 140lbs but still has the better resume of the two.

Thurman’s biggest win came in his last fight, against Shawn Porter, who pushed him hard but lost a close decision. Thurman is the naturally bigger man, having fought at 147lbs or slightly above, for all of his career but I don’t expect size to effect the outcome of this fight.

In my humble opinion, Garcia will win a clear points decision. Garcia has great timing and I see him picking off regular counter attack shots, when Thurman tries to impose pressure on him.

Craig Muncey, TopClassBoxing, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman – Really looking forward to this one, both very capable boxers. Garcia has had a long lay off and most of his career has been at the lighter weight of 140lbs. Thurman looks a bigger man and likely to be heavier on the night. It’s a real close fight to predict but every time I have seen Garcia he has impressed me and I think he wins on points in a unanimous but close decision.

Dean Berks, TopClassBoxing, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia – Thurman is favourite, and rightly so. He has been boxing more lately, adding a versatility to his known power. But, for me, he hasn’t been as impressive. A strong showing is needed here to help move him to the upper tier and big fights he craves.

Garcia has always found a way to win and you have to wonder if he has more left to show us or this really is as far as he can go. For him it really is spit or get off the pot.

The styles should blend nice and provide an entertaining spectacle. I have to go with the proven fighter at 147 though. Thurman on points in a closer than expected fight.

Lee Thornton, TopClassBoxing, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia – Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia is a fight between two undefeated fighters. Picking a winner in this fight is tough due to both fighters having power and the ability to find a way to win while enduring adversity. I am picking Keith Thurman due to his movement and size advantage along with being more unpredictable. Garcia’s ability to counter his opponents and his one punch power in his left hook make him dangerous. If this fight turns into a brawl I believe Garcia will win, he has shown the ability to withstand damage in past fights. I believe Thurman fights smart and wins a UD over Garcia.

Steve Haigh, TopClassBoxing, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia – I see this as a pick em fight,however taking into account that Thurman is the natural welterweight ill be leaning towards him pulling off a decision.

I expect One Time to dictate the pace and be the aggressor while Garcia sits tight waiting for any counters 

Al Haymon has a contract with PBC who showcase the bout so Thurman cannot expect any favours in a close encounter,I expect he will want the KO but must set things up properly.

Short of achieving the stoppage Thurman needs to think about being 4 rounds clear after 12 to get the nod in my opinion.

I dont vision Danny Garcia winning inside the distance and expect his tactics to be in picking his shots through any holes left open on the Thurman assault.

Lewis Taylor, TopClassBoxing, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman – Ever since this fight was made, I’ve never understood Thurman being a 2/5 favourite with Garcia out at 15/8 with the bookmakers. For me personally, Garcia’s attributes out weigh Thurman’s enormously.

“One Time” who hasn’t knocked out anybody with one punch to my knowledge will look to box and move and make Garcia frustrated. Garcia will need to work inside and make the fight a dog fight, which I think he will do. Garcia has the better resume and punch variety in my opinion, a tremendous body puncher against Thurman, a guy who was seriously hurt to the body in a previous bout with a washed up Collazo. Going against the grain here but I see Garcia winning and winning comfortably.

Shawn Porter, former 147-pound champion, Keith Thurman MD 12 Danny Garcia: I’ve watched both Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman all the way through the amateurs and now in the pros. They’re both really good fighters. Both strong. Both intelligent. Both make good adjustments over the course of a fight. I’m choosing Thurman to stay undefeated because, I think not only is he a little stronger, and a little smarter, but I also think his boxing ability is superior to Garcia’s.

I think he’s going to give Danny problems when he moves. I think Thurman is going to have Danny off-balance. I think Thurman is going to make it very hard for Garcia to set up his offense. And I think based off of that one element Thurman will win a majority decision

Mikey Garcia, three-division and 135-pound champion, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith ThurmanI think Danny Garcia takes it. He finds a way to win. He has experience and has been able to make adjustments to get the win. Garcia by decision over Keith Thurman.

Jarrett Hurd, 154-pound champion, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: I haven’t seen Danny Garcia hurt before, but I’ve seen Keith Thurman hurt to the body against Luis Collazo. Garcia took punches from hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse. No matter how much Garcia’s been the underdog, he always finds a way to pull the upset.

Andre Berto, former 147-pound champion, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: It’s going to be a great fight. I’m learning toward Keith Thurman over Danny Garcia.

Robert Guerrero, multi-division champion, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: I’m picking Keith Thurman to win by decision over Danny Garcia. Both fight with a lot of heart, and it’s going to be a Fight of they Year type of fight. I just think Thurman has more weapons in his arsenal. Both are undefeated, so may the best man win.

Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports, Keith Thurman UD 12 Danny GarciaI love this fight and I really feel that it’s a toss of a coin. Danny Garcia has faced better opposition, but I feel that Keith Thurman is about to make a statement.

Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: First of all, this looks to be a terrific fight, so props to both fighters for risking their undefeated records and not hiding behind belts. This could easily go either way; I see it going to a decision with Danny Garcia winning. I think he’s fought the better opponents and will be able to land the bigger punches against a boxer in Keith Thurman who will at times give him fits.

Bob Velin, USA Today/Boxing Junkie, Keith Thurman TKO 10 Danny Garcia: Keith Thurman is fresh, confident as hell after beating Shawn Porter, as relaxed as I’ve seen him, in the best shape of his life and, thanks to Angel Garcia’s mouth, perhaps just a little bit extra motivated to shut that mouth. Danny Garcia is an underrated boxer and puncher and will give Thurman all he can handle. But eventually “Swift” will succumb to Thurman’s power. Both men have a strong desire to be the face of the welterweight division, if not all of boxing. I believe “One Time” will prevail.

Mike Coppinger, USA Today, Boxing Junkie, Danny Garcia SD 12 Keith Thurman: Danny Garcia is the more experienced, seasoned fighter, and it should be apparent on March 4. The underrated Philadelphian never got enough credit for upset wins over Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse, and it seems he’s being overlooked again. Keith Thurman will bring it, and both men could be hurt in a fight with many big exchanges. But I say Garcia ekes out a deserving nod.

Gordon Marino, Wall Street Journal, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: I am picking Danny Garcia by a decision. I think Garcia has superb skills. Keith Thurman is explosive but wild and I think Danny will be able to capitalize on the many openings that Thurman will give him. Danny has a good jab and he closes the distance well.  I think Garcia is a multi-dimensional fighter whereas with Thurman, all his eggs are in the knockout basket. On the mental side, both of these guys have great confidence in themselves and a mighty will to win.  They both have solid chins. This is a terrific matchup.

Thomas Gerbasi, BoxingScene.com, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: Keith Thurman has been fighting at a higher level more consistently than Danny Garcia as of late, and the Shawn Porter fight showed him to be able to make adjustments on the fly when necessary. All should serve him well on Saturday.

Bobby Cassidy, Newsday, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: Any time you have two undefeated fighters – in the prime of their careers – it’s extremely difficult to pick a winner. I think the difference in this fight will come down to experience. Danny Garcia has been fighting better competition for longer. He’s been here before and when the going gets tough, he’ll be able to weather the storm and box through it. While Keith Thurman holds the decisive edge in power, I think Danny is more versatile. He’s quicker and is the better boxer. Danny has more tools to win the fight than Thurman and he’s going to need all those tools. I think Garcia wins a close unanimous decision. 

Mitch Abramson, RingTV.com, Danny Garcia UD 12 Keith Thurman: I think Danny Garcia has the better chin, has fought the better competition and punches harder than Keith Thurman, who has become more of a fighter who relies on movement as he’s fought better competition. Garcia has also been more active of late, fighting in November while Thurman will have been off since last June. While the fight will be highly competitive, I think Garcia will pile up enough early rounds to win a tight unanimous decision.

Jake Donovan, FightNights.com, Keith Thurman MD 12 Danny GarciaThe last welterweight unification title fight between unbeaten champs ended in a controversial decision – for the fight time, one going against Oscar de la Hoya who was denied victory versus Felix Trinidad in 1999. My hunch is this night becomes Garcia’s “Oscar night” in his career for the wrong reasons, as he finally does enough to convince even his harshest critics that he belongs among boxing’s elite, only for Thurman’s hand to be raised at night’s end in a controversial decision.

Zachary Alapi, Fansided, Danny Garcia MD 12 Keith ThurmanAlthough Garcia has been criticized for his level of opposition since defeating Lucas Matthysse, he remains a technically sound, battle-tested fighter who always seems to find a way to adapt and win. Look for Garcia’s vaunted left hook, body shots, and more precise punches to edge out Thurman’s incredible combination of power and speed. Garcia never seems to jump off the proverbial page, but he should be able to do just enough to negate Thurman’s superior attributes and dictate tempo. Expect a close decision that will reflect the quality of both fighters and that could necessitate a rematch.

Joe Santoliquito, RingTV.com/CBS Philly/Sherdog, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: I think Keith Thurman has too much firepower for Danny Garcia. Thurman has taken on much tougher opponents over the last two years, and that can only make a fighter sharper and better. On the other hand, I don’t think Garcia has pushed himself the way that he could. It should be a great fight.

Bernard Fernandez, The Sweet Science, Keith Thurman MD 12 Danny Garcia: I got called a homer for picking the Philly guy, Danny Garcia, against Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson when a lot of my colleagues in the boxing writing fraternity went the other way. This time, it seems feasible to lean the other way. Call it Keith Thurman by majority decision.

Cliff Rold, BoxingScene.com, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith ThurmanDanny Garcia seems to come up biggest in big moments, underachieving when the lights are dimmer.

Keith Thurman has a power advantage, but Garcia maybe the better boxer. With Garcia’s left hand counter being a tonic to a Thurman who sometimes lunges, in what could be a messy fight at times, I’ll go with Garcia by the skin of his teeth.

Norm Frauenheim, The Ring/15rounds.com, Keith Thurman UD 12 Danny Garcia: Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse are two good reminders of just how foolish it is to pick against Danny Garcia, who is always at his resilient best when odds and pundits line up against him. But Keith Thurman knows that, and he’s smart enough to know that history repeats itself if its lessons are ignored. He won’t.

Thurman also knows how to use a very good jab, which could be a foil against Garcia’s dangerous counter and — if consistent — enough to score points in a narrow, perhaps controversial victory.

Ryan Songalia, RingTV.com/The Rappler, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: I like this fight. Boxing needs more match ups between two undefeated champions in their prime with everything to lose. When you have real stakes, there’s no need for added drama. I’m going with Danny Garcia in a close one. I think his experience, his dedication to the body work, and his jab will be the slight difference against Keith Thurman. It seems that every time Garcia’s  in a situation like this, he finds a way to win.

Paul Magno, The Boxing Tribune, Keith Thurman SD 12 Danny GarciaI can’t wait for this one. Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia is one of the most intriguing fights in recent memory-almost a textbook “will vs. skill” bout between two 20-something elite-level fighters in their prime. Garcia has a cool precision about him and a well-honed skill set. Thurman, on the other hand, is an explosive, physical fighter who is equal parts awkward and overpoweringly athletic. If Thurman boxes from the outside, using his legs and trying to play it calculated and safe, Garcia will be able to pick him apart and eventually take him out.

However, if Thurman bull rushes in, like he did against Shawn Porter, Garcia will have trouble. I’m expecting the latter. Garcia is a technical fighter at heart and will have trouble with a Thurman who is mauling him and making it difficult for him to execute. I see this as a close fight that will have a constant ebb and flow of action, but, ultimately, an in-your-face Thurman will have just a bit too much energy and raw ambition for Garcia. I see a split decision in favor of Thurman with all three scorecards in the 115-113 or 116-112 range and talk of a rematch buzzing even before the decision is announced.

James “Smitty” Smith, In This Corner TV, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: My pick is that Keith Thurman will beat Danny Garcia by decision with his overall versatility and athleticism.

Diego Morilla, The Sweet Science/Prize Fighters, Keith Thurman W12 Danny Garcia: Danny Garcia, to put it bluntly, is due to lose. Not only because his father’s big mouth makes us wish that he will finally learn a lesson, but rather because he has gotten used to fighting barely at the level of his opponent and getting away with it. 

Keith Thurman has all the vulnerabilities that Garcia could easily exploit in his favor, but it’s hard to envision Danny surviving the kind of action that Thurman endured and overcame against Shawn Porter and others.It will be a tough, fast-paced fight in which Thurman will probably allow Garcia to steal a few rounds with his great counterpunching skills, but “One Time” will apply the right pressure at the right time during the fight to earn a solid victory by unanimous decision.

Gary “Digital” Williams, Fightnews.com, Keith Thurman late-round KO Danny Garcia: I am going with Keith Thurman, possibly by late-round knockout.  Thurman’s boxing movement will be the key. It will be tough for Danny Garcia to get inside. Garcia is going to try to make it a rough one but I just think Thurman will be too much overall.

Alec Kohut, freelance boxing writer, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith ThurmanDanny Garcia has all the tools. Power in both hands, great footwork and wonderful ring generalship. Keith Thurman, too, has great skills, but not as refined as Garcia’s.

If there is a knock on Garcia, it’s that if his power punches aren’t landing, he does not wear down an opponent for a late stoppage. He wins rounds and goes for the decision, which is what’s going to happen here. I’d love to predict a back and forth gut wrenching fight, but I believe Garcia will win, not by winning the fight, but by winning the majority of the rounds.

John J. Raspanti, Maxboxing.com, Ringside Boxing Show, Doghouseboxing.com, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: This matchup is a classic 50-50 fight.  I see Keith Thurman winning the early rounds with his faster hands and feet. The underrated Danny Garcia will find success to the body and begin to rally.  The bout will be close going into the last three rounds, but I see Thurman doing a little more to win the fight by a close 12-round decision. 

Ronnie Shields, trainer of Jermall Charlo and others, Keith Thurman D 12 Danny GarciaKeith Thurman-Danny Garcia is a 50-50 fight. Both guys are well-schooled, and I predict that it will end in a split-draw.

Stephen Edwards, trainer of 154-pound contender Julian Williams, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman:  Keith Thurman has the faster feet and more skiddish style. Although he is looked at as the puncher, Danny Garcia has to not chase Thurman. Garcia has to make Thurman come to him so he can counter punch. Garcia’s dilemma is does he chase Thurman or does he wait. He always makes the right decision. I say that he waits and wins a controversial decision.

Derrick James, trainer of 147-pound contender Errol Spence Jr.: Danny Garcia SD 12 Keith Thurman:  It should be an interesting fight. Danny Garcia has the speed, and he should be able to use that to his advantage. On the other hand, Keith Thurman should have more power and if he lands, Garcia may be in trouble. I am focused on our fight with Kell Brook, but I hope that we are able to fight the winner, which I think will be Garcia by close split-decision victory.

Ernesto Rodriguez, trainer of 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny GarciaI pick Keith Thurman due to adjustments to box when he’s in trouble and his ability to hurt you with a punch. Tough bout to pick but I’m picking Thurman to beat Danny Garcia by decision.

Abel Sanchez, trainer of Gennady Golovkin, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: In my opinion, Danny Garcia wins a tough, hard-fought decision. I never really thought that Keith Thurman would be able to pull it out in a hard, 12-round fight.

Ruben Guerrero, father and trainer of Robert Guerrero, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: I think Keith Thurman is going to win the fight, but he needs a knockout. If it goes to the distance, I think they’ll give it to Danny Garcia.

Kevin Cunningham, trainer of Devon Alexander, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny GarciaI’ve got Danny Garcia winning by a decision over Keith Thurman.

I've been in the boxing industry for over 15 years but been a fan for almost double that figure. I'm the proud owner of TopClassBoxing which continues to go from strength to strength as we strive to give fight fans a voice to be heard amongst the community. I've also had several articles published by reputable magazines and you can usually catch me around ringside.

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