Danny Garcia, left, lands a left hook to the jaw of Robert Guerrero in their welterweight title fight in January 2016 at Staples Center. Garcia won a unanimous decision/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill
There have been many high-profile welterweight title fights over the years. From Sugar Ray Robinson-Kid Gavilan (rematch, July 1949) to Jose Napoles-Emile Griffith (October 1969) to Roberto Duran-Sugar Ray Leonard (June 1980) to Leonard-Tommy Hearns (September 1981) to Pernell Whitaker-Julio Cesar Chavez (September 1993), there have been some great ones.
Keith “One Time” Thurman and Danny Garcia on Saturday will square off in a welterweight title-unification bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS). Although they will be hard-pressed to match the terrific action produced in the aforementioned bouts, both seem to realize the significance of this bout in one of boxing’s beloved weight classes.
“When you look at the facts and our records, it doesn’t get bigger than this,” said Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla. “There’s no comparison to my other fights. This is the biggest fight of my career.”
Thurman is 27-0 with 22 knockouts. Garcia, of Philadelphia, is 33-0 with 19 knockouts. It is a momentous fight for him, too.
“There’s always been some tough fights in the legacies of other great fighters,” Garcia said. “Each fight is a learning experience. Everything in my career has led me to this fight.
“People want to see the best fight the best. This is my chance to prove it to the world that I’m one of the best fighters in the world.”
That the bout is being held in Brooklyn makes it even sweeter, said the fighters, both of whom have fought multiple times at Barclays.
“Brooklyn has one of a kind fight fans,” Thurman said. “The history of this city and the history of boxing in this city is exceptional. The appreciation they have for fighters is one of a kind.”
Said Garcia: “The atmosphere at Barclays Center is amazing. I’ve always requested to fight here and I’m glad they accept me.”
This one is tough to pick. But Garcia has no doubt he’ll be the best man.
“I’m definitely a better fighter than Keith Thurman,” he said. “He’s never been in the ring with a guy like me. Saturday night, I’m going to prove it.”