Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia analysis & prediction
By Harry Rowland: After having to watch Danny Garcia in far too many foregone conclusions of late, we finally have an absolute 50/50 match-up in Keith Thurman. At this particular time this is the most relevant fight in the Welterweight division. We have two unbeaten fighters with similar experience, and both in their prime.
A very recent common opponent is Robert Guerrero, who took them both the distance in losing but competitive efforts. Thurman appeared to produce the more dominate win, using his foot speed to stay away from attacks, and also knock him down late. Thurman has the slight edge in power with 79% of fights ending in stoppage to Garcia’s 58%. This is more to do with Thurman’s speed as his power shots come unexpectedly. Their actual standing foot planted power is around the same.
Thurman is coming off his career best victory over former world champion Shawn Porter. In this fight however he seemed to neglect the jab and fight Porters fight in an all out slugfest, to clinch a close but unanimous decision. Although entertaining it was a win that made Thurman look more beatable than any of his other fights. Porter forced Thurman to fight at a pace and in a style he wasn’t comfortable with. When you compare this to his fights against Leonard Bundu and Guerrero where he actually had both on the canvas, you will see Thurman was more than happy to use his movement and boxing skills to take a comfortable points wins.
Garcia can never be written off as he has always managed to get the win, and most impressively has done so in style in what were supposed to be his toughest tests, against Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse. He has been given the benefit of the doubt in a pair of fights that could have easily been losses, Against Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson. Garcia’s average footwork and lack of tempo allowed both of these fighters into the fight.
What Garcia has going for him in this fight and the reason why he has been given the nod in the past is that he always maintains his composure. If a fighter appears steady and solid when under fire the judges are less inclined to score against him, because if the punches don’t seem to be bothering him then how effective can they be? Thurman on the other hand likes to put on a show and often leaves himself open to the counter, as Luis Collazo discovered when he sent him reeling from a body shot.
If Thurman fights cautiously using his superior speed and footwork to jab his way in before letting the heavy artillery go, he can get the win. Anything short of Thurman’s absolute best form, tactics and concentration will result in disappointment for him. I believe Garcia’s only chance of a win is a stoppage should Thurman fall short on any of the above.
Keith Thurman to win on points.
Andrzej Fonfara vs Chad Dawson
Dawson’s accomplished and promising career came to a screeching halt in 2012 when he unwisely boiled down to Super Middleweight to take on then champion Andre Ward. The weight drained Dawson was reminiscent of Roy Jones Jr. when he came back down from Heavyweight to get knocked out in two by Antonio Tarver. As with Jones, Dawson has never been the same fighter since.
Dawson has notched a couple of nondescript wins since his last loss to underdog Tommy Karpency in 2014. Fonfara will be a huge step up in competition for Dawson and will answer a lot of questions about how much he has left. History tells us he will have deteriorated even further since the Karpency defeat.
Fonfara himself is coming off a bad first round stoppage defeat to up and coming Joe Smith Jr, but this set back was more of a lapse of concentration after having his man hurt, rather than a sign of wear and tear. Smith also followed the win up with a stoppage of Bernard Hopkins which has helped Fonfara’s case.
Had Dawson met Fonfara pre-Ward he would be an overwhelming favorite, at any stage of Fonfara’s career, but in boxing timing is everything and I can’t see Dawson competing with Fonfara’s work rate. Dawson will likely be broken down and stopped somewhere around the 8th round.