Fight Reports

[Video] Thurman Withstands Late Garcia Rally, Wins Split Decision

Thurman outboxes Garcia to unify the WBA and WBC welterweight titles.


BROOKLYN — Keith Thurman’s fast lead was enough to hold off a late surge by Danny Garcia and take a split decision to unify the WBA and WBC welterweight titles. Despite some early fireworks, this was a mostly a high-level chess match with Thurman’s athleticism being the deciding factor.

FAST START: Thurman came with both fists blazing. He wobbled Garcia in the first round with an overhand right and spent the majority of the opening two rounds walking down his smaller foe. Garcia got some traction in the second by countering off the backfoot with right hands, but Thurman erased his efforts with heavy hooks at the bell.

Starting in the third, Thurman modified his attacks with lateral movement to exploit Garcia’s slow footwork. When Thurman decided to work the jab, Garcia’s offense was reduced to plodding forward and waiting for a Thurman mistake (which were few and far). By the end of the fifth, the only debatable round for Garcia was the second.

FINDING THE RANGE AND GAME PLAN ADJUSTMENTS: The sixth round was the first time Garcia looked comfortable with Thurman’s speed. With his left hook nullified, Garcia found openings with his right hand. He scored with a nice 1-2 at ring center and stayed busy in the trenches. The seventh was another close one with Garcia boxing well until the last 10 seconds when Thurman knocked him off-balance with a counter left hook. The eighth and ninth stanzas were all Thurman, who controlled the action by countering easily off the back foot with straight rights and uppercuts. thurman_garcia1 FROM ONE TIME TO RUN TIME: Remember how Oscar De La Hoya thought he had big lead and coasted the final four rounds against Felix Trinidad? It wasn’t that ridiculous tonight, but Thurman clearly was nursing his lead. His punch output dropped and his feet picked up the slack. Outside of the 12th were Garcia landed some good, sustained body blow on the ropes, Thurman didn’t take much serious damage. However, rounds 10-12 clearly went to Garcia and added some drama to the scorecard announcement.


SCORECARDS: Official scores were 116-112 Thurman, 115-113 Garica and 115-113 Thurman. I had it 116-112 Thurman and found Kevin Morgan’s score for Danny indefensible. Even with the most generous of scores, I can’t see this closer than 115-113 for One Time. Nonetheless, the right man won and hopefully this is a scare that Thurman learns from.

NEXT ORDER OF BUSINESS: Thurman’s win puts him in line to unify with the winner of Errol Spence vs. Kell Brook. If that fails, the winner of Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto is an option. Tonight’s fight was good, but not one that warrants an immediate rematch. Garcia might want to consider Luis Collazo for his comeback bout.

1 comment

  1. Did you clock JLJ troll Garcia at the end haha ‘now the new WBA and WBC’ the Garcia’s were schitt we done it!!! He should of said ‘the new WBC and WBA’… Jimmy Lennon Jr is still the best ring announcer imo though…

    Did you watch the Haye/Bellew farce Ismael???

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