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Danny Garcia says Thurman is his 4th or 5th best opponent

Danny Garcia Keith Thurman

By Jeff Aranow: WBC welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) doesn’t think too much of WBA champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs), and he plans on exposing him this Saturday night in their fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. According to Garcia, he rates the 28-yer-old Thurman as the 4th or 5th best opponent he’s faced during his career.

(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

Garcia says Thurman just shoots for knockouts every time he fights. Garcia says his plan is to stop Thurman to keep him from getting any momentum in their fight on Showtime Championship Boxing on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Thurman’s knockouts have kind of dried up recently, as he’s only stopped 1 out of his last 4 opponents he faced. The good news for Thurman and his loyal followers is he’s still winning, but he failed to knockout Shawn Porter, Robert Guerrero and Leonard Bundu. Moreover, none of those were easy fights for Thurman.

“My honest assessment is he’s a built up champion,” said Garcia about Thurman. “I came up the hard way and had to take the title off the champion. Everything was against me. He’s probably 4th or 5th [best fighter he’s faced in his career]. I’m just fighting someone with a lot of momentum, who thinks he can knock everyone out. That’s it. Once I break the momentum, then what?” said Garcia about Thurman.

Garcia rate Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson. The other top fighters that Garcia has beaten during his career were Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi, Mauricio Herrera, Robert Guerrero, Erik Morales, Zab Judah, Kendall Holt and Nate Campbell. Morales, Judah, Holt and Campbell were nearing the ends of their careers when they fought Garcia.

Former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi believes that Thurman is the better athlete of the two. However, Malignaggi thinks Garcia is a very good puncher with great timing. Malignaggi notes that Garcia is dangerous when he sets to throw his big power shots.
It’s going to be a difficult fight for Thurman, because Garcia is going to be timing him when he comes forward.

Garcia isn’t going to chase Thurman around the ring like Shawn Porter did last July. Thurman was able to land some big shots on Porter when he was pressuring him. Garcia doesn’t pressure in the same way. He likes to stand in the center of the ring and wait for his opponents to come to him. Thurman always comes forward looking to land one or two punches before getting away. Thurman will throw combinations if his opponents go on the attack.

Thurman will let loose with some big shots thrown in a hurry. Thurman leaves himself open when he fires his fast combinations, which is probably why he’s been hurt a number of times during his career by Luis Collazo, Diego Chaves and Jesus Soto Karass.

“I think Thurman is the better athlete, “said Malignaggi to “I think Garcia is the more set puncher. Danny has a good sense of timing. I think it’s going to be Thurman with his ability. I’ll be very surprised if Thurman tries to knock Danny out right away. I don’t think Thurman wants to risk walking into something. I think Thurman has the boxing ability to try and box around Danny and take command of some of the rounds until Danny gets desperate and tries to knock him out. I think both guys will try and go for the knockout at a certain point, but I don’t see that happening right away,” said Malignaggi.

Newly crowned WBA World welterweight champion Lamont Peterson sees the Garcia vs. Thurman fight as a 50-50 affair. Peterson says his heart tells him that Thurman will win the fight, but he still feels that Garcia will get the ‘W’ in the end. Either way, Peterson wants to fight the winner of the contest in the near future. Garcia beat Peterson by a 12 round majority decision in April 2015 in a very close fight. Garcia controlled the action in the first six rounds, but Peterson came on in the second half of the fight to win most of the rounds with his heavy pressure.

“My personal preference is for Thurman to win,” said Peterson to “Once I get the belts off of Thurman, then Danny will take the fight because he’s going to want to get the belts back. That’s what I’m going for.”

When asked who he expects to win the Thurman vs. Garcia fight, Peterson said, “I think it’s 50-50. My heart tells me to go with Thurman, but something else deep down is saying that Danny’s going to win. So I’m just going to be a spectator,” said Peterson.

The undercard for the Garcia-Thurman fight will have former WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson fighting Andrzej Fonfara, a highly ranked contender at 175. Dawson and Fonfara are going in different directions with their respective careers. Dawson, 34, is fading as a fighter for the last five years, and it’s hard to believe that at one time he was considered by many boxing fans as the best fighter in the light heavyweight division. He’s not the same fighter that he once was. But if Dawson’s chin holds up, he could out-box Fonfara and pull off an upset. It’s not likely though.

Super lightweight Mario Barrios will be fighting Yardley Suarez in an 8 round fight. Light welterweight Sergey Lipinets will be fighting Clarence Booth.

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