In a hotly anticipated Welterweight unification, Keith Thurman put on a performance meritorious of the titles he now holds after outpointing Danny Garcia over the course of 12 rounds in Brooklyn.
From the very beginning, Thurman utilized a solid mix of movement and boxing to flummox Garcia who did little beyond following Thurman around the ring and hoping to land a big shot to halt his movement. Thurman swept the first five rounds by simply being busy with his hands and feet keeping Garcia off set and firing out of position.
Though the fight boasted two big punching Welterweights, neither man landed any of their big punches as the bout settled into a tactical affair from the fifth round onwards. Even so, Garcia’s slow start doomed him and was never able to take advantage of Thurman’s lulls of activity as the action slowed to a crawl as it headed into the final rounds.
At the behest of Thurman’s trainer Dan Birmingham, Thurman continued his disciplined approach as Garcia could not settle into the role of aggressor. Though many of the rounds seemed close due to the lack of activity from either men, Thurman’s activity was enough to win the majority of those rounds as Garcia was too slow to react and too hesitant to engage.
The official scores reflected as such, with Thurman coming on top by scores of 116-112 and 115-113 with a 115-113 card in favor of Garcia. The Boxing Tribune scored the fight 117-111 for Thurman.
With the win, Thurman moves to 29-0 and walks out with the WBC Welterweight title in addition to his WBA belt after turning in a performance far more indicative of his skill than his sloppy, narrow decision win over Shawn Porter last summer.
Garcia, a former Junior Welterweight champion, suffers the first loss of his career and drops to 33-1 after being unable to come forward and push the action much like he did against Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson. Unlike this fight, Garcia was on the better side of those close decisions.
On the undercard, Erickson Lubin (18-0, 13 KO) needed only four rounds to blast out the awkward Jorge Cota (25-2, 22 KO) and secure a shot against WBC Junior Middleweight champion Jermell Charlo.
From the very beginning, Lubin had no trouble finding Cota thanks in part to his opponent’s downright refusal to put his hands up. Cota was able to slow Lubin down a bit and took his shots well while answering in kind, but Lubin was landing with increased intensity and confidence after a tentative first round.
In the fourth round, Lubin uncorked Cota with a looping overhand left that put him down and out. While Cota rose up to beat the count, he was unfit to continue and wouldn’t have lasted much longer with his terrible defense and lack of return fire.
Former Light Heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (34-5, 19 KO) looked like he was on his way to springing a wild upset against fellow fading contender Andrezj Fonfara (29-4, 17 KO) only for his legs and chin to fail him in the tenth round. Dawson made a strong account of himself against the hard-punching Pole, but was put down in the ninth and stopped in the 10th. Fonfara keeps his chances for another big fight alive while Dawson drops to 3-4 in his last seven fights and should seriously consider retirement.
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