Recap: Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) edged Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOS) by a majority decision to maintain his WBA Championship and capture Garcia's WBC Championship on Saturday night in front of 16,500—a record boxing crowd for Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight had plenty of excitement in the first two rounds but Thurman managed to be more elusive and threw more punches as the fight progressed, taking control of what became a more tactical title bout.
Judge John McKaie scored the fight 116-112 and Judge Joe Pasquale scored it 115-113 in favor of Thurman. Judge Kevin Morgan gave the fight to Garcia, 115-113. International Business Times scored the fight, 116-112 for Thurman.
"I thought I out-boxed him," said Thurman in the post-fight interview. "I thought it was a clear victory. Danny, he came to fight."
Thurman added that his defense was effective preventing Garcia from landing clear punches.
Garcia said he thought he won the fight. "I gave it my all. I thought I was the aggressor. I thought I pushed the pace of the fight," said Garcia.
There were no knockdowns in the fight despite evidence that one might be imminent. Both fighters asserted themselves in the first two rounds with big swings. As the fight progressed, Thurman appeared to effectively cut off the ring and prevent Garcia from letting the fight turn into a brawl.
The fight included many body shots and more overall punches than many might have expected. In a testament to both boxers' stamina, neither boxer seemed to be hurt when it was over.
Preview: WBA champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) meets WBC champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in a welterweight unification bout. Thurman is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Shawn Porter in June 2016, while Garcia defeated Samuel Vargas by TKO in November.
There are many similarities between the two boxers. At the weigh-in, Thurman came in at 146.25 pounds while Garcia came in at 146.5. Both fighters are 28 years old, and both have a 69-inch reach and are 5-foot-9. Thurman and Garcia both use an orthodox stance. One common opponent is Robert Guerrero, and both fighters defeated him by unanimous decision.
Thurman has won 81 percent of his fights by knockout. Garcia has won 55 percent of his fights by knockout. Thurman is a slight favorite to win the fight. Both Thurman and Garcia will earn $2 million for the fight.
“He’s never been in the ring with a guy like me,’’ Garcia said of Thurman. “My honest assessment is he’s a built-up champion. I’m just fighting someone with a lot of momentum who thinks he can knock everyone out. That’s it. Once I break his momentum, then what?"
"Looking at the books and the record, I think Danny has been in more close decisions than I’ve been," Thurman said. "He just lets people be in the fight with him more than I believe fighters have been in the fight with me. I think I’ve had more dominant decisions over my opponents than Garcia and that gives me confidence in winning this fight."
The judges are John McKaie (New York), Kevin Morgan (New York) and Joe Pasquale (New Jersey). The referee is Michael Griffin.
CBS televises the card at 9 p.m. Eastern time. The Thurman-Garcia bout likely will start at about 10:05 p.m. ET.
Undercard: Orlando-native Erickson Lubin (17-0, 12 KOs) faces Mexican Jorge Cota (25-1, 22 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout. Lubin and Cota both weighed in at 153.8 pounds.
Here is how International Business Times scores the Thurman-Garcia 12-round fight:
Thurman came out aggressive in the opening moments and both boxers were swinging big in the first minute. Garcia was able to land a good left. But Thurman put on the fireworks with some exciting power punches. Garcia battled back, though Thurman seemed to do the most damage with an overhand right in an exciting round.
Garcia landed a good left in the first half of the round and later did some damage with an impressive hard right. Thurman later walked into a strong shot from Garcia. Thurman was able to land a right uppercut and powerful left. Quieter round but still an interesting one.
In an odd moment, Garcia doubled over but Thurman couldn't land an effective power punch. Thurman has done a very good job when he leans in. Garcia has let the fight come to him instead of forcing things. Garcia managed a solid punch to the body inside the final minute. Close round.
Lots of jabbing in the first minute and Thurman was able to land a decent body shot. An uppercut from Garcia did a decent job and Garcia was able to land a good combination. Thurman remained aggressive and completed a solid combo of his own to end the round. This round was more measured than previous ones. It was a close one, too.
This fight is slowing down a bit. Garcia used a pretty good left hook, but this round was a bit more Thurman than it was Garcia because of the more effect jab and decent flurry near the end that seemed to belong to Thurman.
Another quiet round as this fight looks increasingly more likely that it will go the distance. Garcia landed a good combination and let Thurman miss badly in the same sequence.
Thurman moving around the ring a little more Garcia. Neither boxer taking a big chance like they did in the first two rounds. Garcia may have gotten away with a low blow. Later, referee Michael Griffin warned him for another low blow. Thurman gave a better flurry towards the end of the round and looks like the more active boxer.
Thurman seemed to get the better of a good exchange in the opening minute. Garcia seemed to slow down but showed more defense in making Thurman miss big. Thurman had a good uppercut to end the round. Neither boxer looks hurt. The Brooklyn crowd has grown a little restless.
No signature moment in the first half of the round. Thurman is in control but he hasn't definitively won this round or many others. In the final minute, Thurman was able to land a good uppercut. Garcia has missed with big punches, though he did accidentally land a shot after the bell.
Garcia not fighting with a sense of urgency. Thurman has thrown a lot more punches, while his movement seems to be bothering Garcia. But the Philly native did land a good right. In the last minute, Thurman had a spurt in which he effectively went to the body. A better round for Garcia but probably not enough to win the round.
Very slow first half of the round. Thurman doing a lot of moving and Garcia hasn't found a decent opening. Garcia seems desperate to get into a brawl but in the final 2o seconds Thurman gave him an opportunity and Garcia couldn't capitalize. Garcia is on the verge of his first loss.
Thurman began the round with a good surprise body shot. Garcia couldn't land a power shot in the first half of the round. Garica showed some aggression in the final minute. But Thurman avoided any damage by his exceptional movement. Thurman deserves the victory because he simply was more active with more punches.
IBT Final Scorecard
Judge McKaie 116-112 for Thurman; Judge Morgan 115-113 for Garcia; Judge Pasquale 115-113 for Thurman
Thurman in a majority decision win