Sunday, 05 March 2017 23:39

Thurman vs Garcia: To whom we owe gratitude

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The matchup which took place this past Saturday night in Brooklyn was one that doesn't come around very often, at least not according to boxing's historical sources.

Those particular figures indicated that welterweight supremacy was hardly in the double digit column in terms of unification purposes and just barely in single digits in regard to a showdown between unbeaten champions.

First off, for those who felt the bout between Keith "One Time" Thurman and Danny "Swift" Garcia was anything less than what could have been expected once their respective backgrounds are considered, then please, read no further. If one so chooses to do so, then see to it that the "the fight was a letdown" talk is shrink wrapped and canned.

Why? Because such an opinion is nonsense. However, please keep in mind that this piece of writing is also just an opinion.

An amazingly raucous and ready crowd of fight fans packed the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

For those of us who couldn't make it to the Empire State in person, the mere fact that a unified welterweight championship was on free TV could certainly have quelled the frustration associated with lesser fights being part part of a pay TV telecast.

Save for any knockdowns, the contest had everything.

The biggest fight of the year doesn't always have to translate into a war of attrition in order to be among the best that boxing has to offer. 

Think about it - we don't get many bouts that hold a "bang for your buck" candle to the moments shared between Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward or Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales. It's unfair for such bouts to serve as the litmus test for future contests.

Are the four aforementioned names in the same breaths as certain locks for Canastota? Among them, only the late "Thunder" Gatti has been inducted.?

Boxing gave us a similar quandary a few months ago. Many of us expected Sergey Kovalev to eventually deliver a brutal knockout loss to Andre Ward last November in Las Vegas. Of course, Ward was awarded an extremely narrow and to many, controversial unanimous decision win. While the outcome may not have been as hoped, the skill and masterful technique shown by the two undefeated (at the time) champions was simply breathtaking, somewhat along the lines of "man, these guys are good." This is exactly what was given to us on Saturday evening in Brooklyn.

Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KO's) is now the rightful, unified welterweight champion of the world. Perhaps his efforts to take the WBC title overcame Danny Garcia's drive to keep it. 

To be fair, Garcia (33-1, 19 KO's) gave fans a Hellacious amount of gusto as well. To put it plainly, for those among the boxing faithful who know what to look at or what to look for in a bout, this one was a keeper. And it was on network television, no less.

Clarity is what this writer experienced while watching the fight last night. Cable and or satellite TV became too expensive for my tastes, so streaming TV took its place. Despite the immense savings recently experienced, one of the drawbacks is the lack of local channels, which means no network TV. A bar was out of the question, especially on a night where too many alcohol fueled males would pack such establishments to watch a night of UFC.

The alternative was the gym and this writer found himself running on a treadmill from the time the two fighters made their respective ring walks all the way up to the tenth round. A long run ended in running out of enough gas to continue, but the focus on the bout was crystal clear. The last few rounds were walked through at a brisk pace. 

Many scoffed at Thurman when he called out Mayweather and when he mistook San Antonio for San Diego a few years ago. Likewise, Danny's father, Angel often got more attention than his champion son due in large part to his oftentimes vulgar type of banter.... But boxing delivered. Premier Boxing Champions, believe it or not, delivered.

Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, thank you. This bout showed why you two are among the best in the game. Somewhere between pugilistic chess and checkers, you knocked it out of the ballpark.