The build up to the Welterweight title unification bout between undefeated WBC belt holder Danny Garcia and undefeated WBA champion Keith Thurman was ugly…really ugly.
One of the worst. Ever.
It began at their first press conference.
However, the fault didn’t fall on the fighters. The blame rests squarely on the slumped shoulders of Angel Garcia, Danny’s father.
His behavior was a loathsome embarrassment to the sport.
Angel’s tirade at the podium for this fight included all the regular profanities; but he did his best showcasing the worst.
To that, he then added multiple racist epithets, homophobic insults and threats of violence.
The cherry at the top of this salacious sundae came when boxing publicist Kelly Swanson tried to intercede and the elder Garcia yelled in her face that he would, “jack her up.”
The two camps were facing off and ready to get rough.
Thankfully, security and law enforcement stepped in to stop the donnybrook.
It is still a mystery why Angel wasn’t “cuffed and carted” because of threatening to punch a woman…and everyone else.
The fight was a different story.
All class, and all action.
The leather started flying as soon as the bell rang, with Thurman establishing himself as the aggressor in the opening frame.
Garcia backed away and set up for counterpunches.
There was some excellent give-and-take and the round was pretty even, until the last minute.
Thurman came in behind his jab, threw a right to the body, and followed it with a looping left that found face.
A wobbly Garcia stepped back but Thurman advanced with an overhand right to the jaw that spun Garcia halfway around.
Thurman peppered him for the next 55 seconds, and Garcia was in trouble till the bell rang.
Garcia made a better accounting of himself in Round 2.
But Thurman stole that one towards the end, and went on to dominate the third from bell to bell. By Round 4 Garcia’s left eye was beginning to swell.
Thurman continued to set the pace and tempo throughout the first half of the bout, winning every round except the sixth.
Garcia remained a threat into the later rounds, but probably only won the 10th.
Thurman was throwing more, landing more and hitting with more power. He also began having some success with his uppercut.
These men were in great shape and their conditioning showed as they remained on their toes and launching bombs till the end of the championship rounds.
Believing he’d built up a huge lead (as any rational person would think) Thurman took his foot off the gas-pedal.
Not a smart thing to do in a hostile crowd with “Garcia-centric” announcers.
Garcia should have been swinging for the fences in the final inning. Instead, he just marched forward and measured his punches.
A relaxed Thurman ducked those punches, slipped away at angles and fired shots like a sniper.
Going to the scorecards at the end of 12 rounds, they had a split decision.
There’s no way that Garcia won more than three rounds. Four, if you wear thick glasses.
But 115-113 in favor of a guy that wore out his heels from retreating?
That judge needs to be taken to the hospital immediately.
He needs an eye test, a CT scan, and an examination for malfeasance…just in case.
Fortunately the right man won.
Keith Thurman remains undefeated, unifies the title, and improves his campaign to 28-0, with 22 wins coming by way of knockout.
God Bless, and keep a steady pressure on the accelerator.
Mark Felicetti wants to hear from you. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.