Keith Thurman put on a show of skill and built an early lead on Danny Garcia that was enough to see him through to a split decision — despite a late surge from his opponent.
Keith Thurman began the fight by throwing spectacular power punches that almost sent Danny Garcia to the canvas for the first knockdown of his career. The first few rounds were filled with thrilling exchanges, but Thurman slowly started to use his movement and jab to avoid Garcia’s heavy hooks.
During the middle rounds Thurman was giving Garcia a lesson in footwork in which, at times, the fans in attendance did not appreciate. Garcia was able to land a few solid punches to Thurman’s body, which he absorbed without concern and put to rest the theory that he “couldn’t take it to the body”.
In the latter rounds, Thurman was on his bike after having built himself an early lead and thinking he just had to reach the final bell to get the win. This prompted commentators to mention the infamous De La Hoya vs. Trinidad decision in which Oscar disengaged in the final round thinking he had the fight won — only to end up losing a close decision.
That same thing almost happened to Thurman, as judges had the fight 116-112, 115-113, 113-115. According to the betting odds, Thurman winning the fight by decision was seen as the most likely outcome.
Thurman now has unified the WBA and WBC titles in a very interesting welterweight division. Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza called the upcoming Brook vs. Spence and Porter vs. Berto fights an “unofficial” welterweight tournament in which he could see an undisputed champion emerge.