THURMAN-GARCIA REWIND — Hey Angel…if Keith Thurman is such a P***Y, why didn’t your son, Danny, get off and open up more during a bout he was losing 10 seconds after the bell rang for the first round? Oh, you can’t answer? I can. Because Thurman planted a few bombs on Danny in the first round….thus he hurt him just enough to keep him from becoming too bold with his own offense, which led to the rounds slipping away and Thurman running away with the fight and leaving the ring this past Saturday night with the WBA and WBC welterweight title belts.
Prior to the bout this past weekend, I made the case for Garcia. In making the pick, my case was more against Thurman than it was being so strong on Danny. As the bell rang to end the 12th round, I realized that I was right about Thurman because he was exactly the fighter I thought he was prior to the fight. My miscalculation was Garcia.
After Thurman struggled big time with Shawn Porter (who right now, due to the way he lays it all out when he fights, looks better than both Garcia and Thurman), I thought Garcia would force Thurman to fight more under duress. Granted, that’s not Danny at his best, but he no doubt saw how much Porter’s aggression disrupted Thurman and forced him to rush everything he did offensively. Now after watching Thurman box Garcia’s ears off, it’s painfully obvious that Porter’s somewhat reckless aggression was much more bothersome to Thurman than the wait and look for the perfect shot attack Garcia was applying.
There’s a reason why Garcia 33-1 (19) didn’t get off and force the fight the way he needed to. And it basically is the difference why Thurman 28-0 (22) was forced to fight Porter off of him as opposed to having the leisure of picking his spots and doing what he wanted whenever he wanted against Garcia. Yes, going into the fight everyone knew that, like Canelo Alvarez, Garcia can be stymied by steady lateral movement. But when he was confronted by that before, his reliable chin enabled him to eventually walk down whoever was in front of him – thus he was able to impose himself physically and get off enough to seize the fight. This wasn’t the case against Thurman.
Danny Garcia had two problems during his fight versus Keith Thurman. By Thurman coming out and nailing Danny hard, he subliminally set the tone for how Garcia was going to fight him. What wasn’t painfully obvious, although transparent, was that Keith hurt Danny. No, he didn’t have him in trouble or close to going down. But he clearly conveyed that he could hurt Danny with a single shot, and that if Danny became careless or reckless, he had the capability of really hurting him and maybe even finishing him. Garcia got the message and fought basically on alert mode throughout a majority of the fight, even the rounds when it was apparent that Thurman was looking to box and get out, more so than looking to put any hurt on him. It was frustrating watching Garcia not get off against Thurman who wasn’t making anyone forget Thomas Hearns with his offense.
When two world class fighters like Thurman and Garcia face each other, there’s one of two things that’ll keep one of them from opening up – and in the case of Garcia, it might’ve been a little of both. The first thing that shuts fighters down offensively is they’re befuddled by their opponent’s movement (call it the Vasyl Lomachenko effect) and they can’t find or get close to the intended target. Again, movement — and Thurman was using the whole ring — had been an issue in some of Garcia’s previous bouts.
Fighters are most susceptible to being hit when they cut loose and let their hands go. The normal reaction for a fighter when he’s concerned about what’s coming back at him is to do what Garcia did for most of the fight…and that’s wait for the perfect spot to get off, or a spot where he feels safe to let his hands go, confident that he won’t get blasted in return. The problem with that strategy is that those perfect opportunities don’t roll around that often. Therefore, the fighter waiting for the right opportunity has to eventually take real chances in order to land something meaningful and hopefully turn the fight around. And, as we saw, Danny Garcia was never able or that willing to do that.
Hearing Angel Garcia call Thurman a p***y really bothers me. And what bothers me more is that Angel got away with it without being challenged. If Thurman was nothing; why didn’t Garcia just walk through his punches so he could inflict his own damage? In my opinion, Angel didn’t implore Danny enough to let his hands go when it was obvious he needed a stoppage to pull the fight out. And I believe there’s a reason for that…and that is Angel knew Keith’s punches were bothering Danny, who is very tough physically and mentally, more than what he showed. Therefore Angel didn’t want to put added pressure on his son.
Angel, by saying Thurman just ran….used the same tired excuse that a lot of fighters and managers use when their guy, who looked like the aggressor, uses when the fighter who boxes wins the decision. What Angel is trying to do is convince the viewing public that Thurman didn’t fight, he ran. Wrong. Thurman boxed and all Garcia did was move forward…but moving forward without scoring isn’t effective aggression.
Thurman didn’t run, he boxed, got off and moved. The fight was easy to score and there’s no case suggesting Garcia won. Keith controlled the fight with unexpected pressure early and then used his legs to confuse Danny. The only rounds in which Garcia looked good were largely due to Thurman coasting and even they were close. Thurman held the edge at every turn – and did what he wanted to. Keith may not be a great in-and-out boxer, but he was good enough to pull it off versus a fighter who was not good at cutting off the ring.
Thurman didn’t set the ring on fire, but he controlled every facet of the bout, putting the onus on Garcia to make something happen. Even when Thurman was running out the clock and there was no serious threat from him, Garcia barely eked out those rounds.
Garcia won three rounds clearly. Give him another one in which Thurman coasted and he ends up with four rounds…thus he loses 8-4 or 116-112. The fact that Angel Garcia openly admits Thurman won five rounds tells you that Keith won the fight! And he didn’t win by running. I like Danny Garcia and wrongly picked him to win. I don’t know how terrific or dominant Keith Thurman is, but he has the style to handle Garcia every time out.
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if in their next fights, we look back at Thurman-Garcia as being a style thing that favored Thurman. Don’t be surprised if Garcia looks better in his next fight and Thurman maybe not as good next time.
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Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com