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Mikey Garcia wants Keith Thurman match

Keith Thurman Mikey Garcia

By Jeff Aranow: WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) says he’s interested in moving up from the 135 lb. division to challenge WBC/WBA welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) for his challenge. Mikey, 29, says he would move up to fight Thurman for his titles, and then move back down to the lightweight division to try and unify the titles. Mikey still has to win the WBA, IBF and WBO belts in that division.

That could take a couple of years under the best case scenario if the champions are all willing to fight him. Mikey recently stopped WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin in the 3rd round on January 28 to win the WBC World lightweight title.

I would also jump up right now to fight [Keith] Thurman, and then come down to 40 and then 135 again,” said Garcia to ”I’ll fight [Thurman] right now. Let’s get him. Let’s start calling out for Thurman. Let’s get him at 47; I’ll fight him at 47 in July. How about that? I’ll do it.”

It’s great news that the 29-year-old Mikey wants to fight Thurman because he’s talking about potentially wanting to take a stay busy fight in his next fight following his close 12 round split decision win over WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia on March 4. Thurman built up a big lead in that fight and then coasted in the last 4 rounds to get the victory. It was a bad way for Thurman to fight, but he’s coasted in the later rounds before. This might become norm for him.

Mikey, 5’6”, wouldn’t be giving up that much of a height and reach advantage to the 5’7” Thurman. Thurman is just one inch taller with a short one punch reach advantage over Mikey Garcia. The hand speed between the two is similar, as is the punching power. Mikey appears to punch with the same kind of power that Thurman. It’s been said for a while that Mikey has power two divisions above his weight class. His punching power would be a serious threat to Thurman, who doesn’t have the best punch resistance in the welterweight division.

It would be nice if Thurman took the challenge to face Mikey Garcia, because after his less than stellar job that he did against Danny Garcia, he needs to redeem himself. Showing that he can beat a sly counter puncher with crushing power that Mikey Garcia possesses would be a great start.
As for Mikey moving back down in weight to unify the lightweight division, it might difficult for him to want to go in that direction if he beats Thurman. The opportunities for big paydays for Mikey would be immense at 147 compared to at 135 in the lightweight division.

Thurman hasn’t had to face a counter puncher like Mikey Garcia before. It would be a tough fight for Thurman because he would be getting hit with shots that he never got hit with. Thurman has often been the counter puncher in his fights. If he faces Mikey, he would need to deal with someone who would be setting traps for him all night.

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