There’s a reason why Keith Thurman’s nickname is “one time.” It only takes one time for an opponent to realize he can’t win and Thurman made that statement true on Saturday night.
In the 10th unification bout in welterweight boxing history, Keith Thurman defeated Danny Garcia via split decision (116-112 Thurman, 115-113 Garcia, 115-113 Thurman) to unify the WBA and WBC welterweight world titles.
The fight got off to a blistering start with Thurman throwing wild haymakers in the first round, but most of the rounds started to get a little close for any one fighter to convincingly say they won.
Thurman didn’t say he was mad at the one judge that scored the fight in favor of Garcia, still convinced that he was the clear winner
“The judges are judges,” Thurman said. “I thought out-boxed him. I thought it was a clear victory, but Danny came to fight. I knew when it was split and I had that widespread, I knew it had to go to me. I was not giving the fight away. I felt like we had a nice lead, we could cool down. I felt like we were controlling the three-minute intervals every round. My defense was effective – he wasn’t landing.”
Garcia himself believed that he won the fight, but accepted the decision. The fight was Garcia’s first loss as a professional boxer.
"I came up short tonight,” Garcia said. “I thought I was the aggressor. I thought I pushed the pace. But it didn’t go my way. I thought I won and I was pushing the fight. But it is what it is. He was trying to counter. I had to wait to find my spots."
Both men generated roughly the same amount of offense, but the one glaring difference was the overall amount of power punches thrown in the fight. Thurman out-shot Garcia 102-89 in power punches. Here is a link to the official stats compiled by Showtime.
Garcia did have an opportunity to at least retain the title late in the fight. Thurman was dancing around the canvas and Garcia was not able to score the knockdown. Had Garcia won the final two rounds on judge John McKale, who gave Thurman a 116-112 victory on his scorecard, the fight would have ended in a draw, recreating the result from a month and a half ago when James DeGale and Badou Jack’s super middleweight title unification bout ended in a draw at the Barclays Center.
Thurman might not have to wait long before he finds out his next opponent. Announced earlier in the day was Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto in a WBC welterweight title eliminator next month at the Barclays Center.