If there is one boxer in the world that knows what it’s like to fight both Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter and make a prediction for their upcoming welterweight title fight, it’s Keith Thurman.
Thurman, the current WBA welterweight champion and former WBC titleholder, recently analyzed the September 8 matchup between Garcia and Porter. Thurman was asked about a variety of different fight aspects and who has the edge in those aspects.
While Thurman admitted that each fighter had the edge in certain categories (Garcia getting the edge in punching power, defense and boxing ability while Porter is ahead in physical strength and speed), he said that both fighters are virtually equal in terms of ring IQ and chin. As far as his final prediction goes, Thurman said he can see both fighters win the vacant WBC title through different means, but ultimately, Thurman is leaning towards Porter winning the fight.
"This is one of the best matchups of the year. I try not to overthink it. It's Porter by decision or Garcia only by KO. I lean toward Porter," Thurman said.
Thurman’s experience with both men came from fights he has had with the two of them in the past couple of years, both of which took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Thurman first defeated Porter towards the end of 2016 to retain his WBA title by unanimous decision with three identical scores of 115-113.
Afterwards, Thurman fought Garcia in a bout to unify the WBA and WBC titles in March 2017. In front of a record crowd at the Barclays Center and being televised in front of more than three million viewers on CBS, Thurman defeated Garcia by split decision.
But soon after, Thurman had to undergo elbow surgery and was out of action for the remainder of 2017. After still being out of action through the first few months of 2018, Thurman vacated the WBC welterweight title, which created this matchup between Garcia and Porter as both men had won title eliminators for the title.
Thurman could still potentially become a unified champion once more as the WBC ruled back when Thurman vacated its title that he is eligible to immediately challenge for the title once he feels ready and fully healthy to fight once more.