Danny Garcia won’t try to outdo Thurman’s performance against Guerrero

By Boxing News - 12/25/2015 - Comments

garcia4556By Dan Ambrose: #2 WBC Danny Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) says his plan isn’t to try and outdo what WBA welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman did in his performance against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (33-3-1, 18 KOs) when the two of them face each other next month on January 23rd at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California.

Thurman totally dominated Guerrero in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision last March in winning by the scores of 120-107, 118-109 and 118-108 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thurman knocked Guerrero down in the 9th round and had him badly hurt.

However, Thurman didn’t really start to dominate until the 5th, when he began to use movement to keep from getting hit. In the first four rounds of the fight, Thurman stood directly in front of Guerrero and traded with him, and Thurman took a lot of hard shots.

Thurman wound up with a big bruise on his forehead from a clash of heads, which forced Thurman to use movement to win the fight after the 4th.

“There is no pressure,” Garcia said to Fighthype about him not feeling like he has to do a better job against Guerrero than Thurman. “I’m going to go in there and be the best Danny Garcia I can be. Guerrero never gave up [against Thurman]. That’s what we’re preparing for; we’re preparing for the worst. I just need to make sure we’re I’m at in the clinches, and make sure he doesn’t head-butt me,” Garcia said.

Guerrero is going to need to up his game from what we’ve seen from him in his last four fights against Aaron Martinez, Keith Thurman, Yoshihiro Kamegai and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Guerrero is fighting like he’s gotten old all of a sudden, and no longer the same fighter that first moved up to the 147lb division three years ago, when he beat Andre Berto and Selcuk Aydin.

Guerrero has the inside game to do the same thing to Garcia that Peterson did to him in their fight last April, but he’s going to need to stay close to Garcia to smother his power. When Guerrero is on his game, he’s capable of smothering his opponents and not letting them have space to get their shots off.

Guerrero is a really good inside fighter, and I think he’s definitely better than Garcia when in close. However, Guerrero will need to fight through the clinching that Garcia will likely be doing, because Garcia did a lot of that in his win over Lucas Matthyse two years ago in 2013. Garcia also threw a lot of low blows in that fight.

If the referee isn’t going to do his job to police Garcia’s low blows, then Guerrero will need to consider taking matters into his own hands. If Guerrero starts throwing low blows too, he’s going to put pressure on the referee to do something about it otherwise he’s going to look incompetent like the referee that worked the Garcia-Matthysse fight did.

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This is really Garcia’s first true test at welterweight. Garcia fought Paulie Malignaggi at welterweight last August and Lamont Peterson at a catch-weight of 143lbs at welterweight last April. But the Guerrero fight is really Garcia’s first true test at welterweight.

You can’t count the catch-weight fight against Peterson or the fight against Malignaggi as being true welterweight fights. Malignaggi is little more than a blown up 140lb fighter. Peterson wasn’t able to fight at the full weight for the 147lb division due to the catch-weight that Garcia wanted for the fight. If Garcia gets past Guerrero, then he’s eventually going to need to be tested against a legitimate welterweight that started their career in this weight class more or less.

Shawn Porter is ranked #3 by the World Boxing Council, so you’ve got figure that we’ll eventually see Garcia face Porter unless Porter defeats Thurman to win the WBA title. The WBC has Amir Khan ranked No.1, but Khan does not appear interested in fighting for the WBC title for some reason. He’s looking for a big payday fight against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook in the summer.

Garcia will likely wind up facing #4 WBC Lamont Peterson or #5 WBC Andre Berto for the vacant WBC welterweight title. My guess is the WBC will have Garcia and Berto fight for the title, which would make it a complete farce, given how poor Berto looked in losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last September in their fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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