The freezing temperatures of the first Saturday in March didn’t keep boxing fans from packing into Barclays Center to watch Keith Thurman hand Danny Garcia the first loss of his career while also winning the WBC Welterweight Title and raising his record to a perfect 28-0.Boxing and entertainment royalty like Sugar Ray Leonard, 50 Cent, Lennox Lewis, Dave Chappelle, Adrien Broner, Romeo Santos, Andre Ward, Phil Simms, Errol Spence, and many more were among the record crowd of 16,533 fans who witnessed Thurman retain his WBA Welterweight Championship while resting away Garcia’s title in a split decision victory.
While one judge saw Garcia, now 33-1, winning the fight 115-113, two judges had Thurman as the victor, 116-112 and 115-113 in the fight that aired on CBS. Thurman stunned Garcia with punches early and often but used a confusing strategy toward the second half of the fight that almost cost him the victory.
“I thought I out-boxed him,” Thurman said, adding “I thought it was a clear victory, but Danny came to fight. I knew when it was split and I had that wide spread, I knew it had to go to me.” In response to the strategy the second half of the fight, Thurman said “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.”
While Garcia wasn’t happy with the loss, he took it graciously. “I came up short tonight,” Garcia said, adding “I thought I was the aggressor…But it didn’t go my way.” Garcia now has his eye on what’s next. “I’ll come back strong like a true champion. I would love a rematch to get these titles.”
The always vocal Father of the loser, Angel Garcia, saw the fight differently. “Keith ran half the fight. Boxing is about hitting, not running. Danny tried to be the aggressor, but Keith was moving around too much.” The younger Garcia supported the statement of his father. “I knew running would be his game plan. Everyone knew that was his game plan. I thought I won and that’s it.”
Thurman elaborated on why he was victorious. “You’re not just fighting your opponent sometimes, you’re fighting the judges. They have their own perspective. I know I was backing up and being defensive, I feel like a lot of Danny’s power punches were ineffective. I was controlling the fight from the outside. There were some rounds that I was dominating.”
The night was a huge success for CBS, Brooklyn Boxing, Premier Boxing Champions, and the venue, Barclays
Center. After a successful boxing card in January and UFC pay per view in February, Barclays Center will keep the boxing action coming next month with Andre Berto taking on Shawn Porter on Saturday, April 22. For tickets, visit the Ticketmaster or Barclays Center websites, or call 800-745-3000.