Danny Garcia (+140) vs Keith Thurman (-200), Draw (+2500)
On March 4th in Brooklyn, New York, two undefeated champions will meet to unify the welterweight division for just the tenth time in boxing history. The highly anticipated unification bout between WBC champion Danny Garcia (33-0, 19 KO) and WBA champion Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KO) will usher in a new era for a division that was dominated by the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather for so long.
Thurman is a high-pressure fighter and one of the hardest hitting welterweights in the sport. Of his 27 professional fights, 22 have ended by way of knockout. His only fight in 2016 was against Shawn Porter, whom he beat by unanimous decision. The fight was a candidate for “Fight of the Year” and a rematch was quickly proposed, but Thurman had his eyes fixed on a title unification fight against Garcia.
Garcia was holding out for a potential Mayweather fight in 2016, but that was never going to happen. Instead, he took on Robert Guerrero for the vacated WBC welterweight title and won by unanimous decision. Then, as a tune-up fight for the unification bout, he took on Samuel Vargas and put him away in the seventh round.
The main concern for Garcia is his power. He’s a very well-rounded and technical fighter, able to stalk his opponents and patiently pick them apart, but he lacks Thurman’s strength. That’s not to say that Garcia is incapable of ending fights. His left hook has had its fair share of fight-stopping moments, most notably against Amir Khan back in 2012.
Plus, what he lacks in offensive firepower he makes up for defensively thanks to a great chin. That said, he’s never faced an opponent as heavy-hitting as Thurman.
Thurman’s not just a slugger, either. He’s an intelligent boxer with a deep understanding of the sport. He comes into this fight a pretty decent favorite precisely because he’s that rare breed of boxer who possesses both brute strength and technical prowess.
With the careers of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather coming to a close, the welterweight division is looking for a new star. This is the fight to determine that. Garcia is a masterful technician, but he won’t be able to handle Thurman’s power.
Pick: Keith Thurman (-200)
Photo credit: Martial Arts Nomad [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.