By Minnie Larry
When- Saturday March 4th 2017
Venue- Barclays Center Brooklyn New York
16,533 boxing fans crowded the Barclay Center in boogie down, to see the WBA/WBC welterweight unification bout, in which Keith “One Time” Thurman (28-0, 22KOs) scored a split decision victory over previously unbeaten brawler, Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-1, 13 KOs). The WBA/WBC unification bout lived up to hype, after a querulous journey to the main event. The Premiere Boxing Champions was broadcast live on CBS.
Thurman had a premonition about the outcome of the night’s event. “I knew that today would be the day I accomplish my dreams. People know I fought my way up the amateurs. This was the first time I fought a real undefeated fighter and I demonstrated my skills tonight. I made my team proud.”
As promised, Thurman started at a breakneck pace, landing several overhand rights, catching the attention of Garcia. Garcia however, would recover and land several counter rights of his own. “One Time” stalked Garcia in the first three rounds, landing multiple right shots, one of which clearly left Garcia in distress. The fight would take an interesting turn in Round 4, when Garcia started to become the prowler. “Swift” would step up his activity and land numerous counter shots leaving Thurman purple and blue above his right eye. The later rounds would see Thurman ducking and diving seemingly willing to coast to an easy victory in his eyes. In Round 12, both fighters would trade thudding shots to bring the unification bout to an end.
According to CompuBox stats: Thurman landed 147 of 570 punches (26 percent); and Garcia landing 130 of 434 (30 percent).
While Garcia didn’t agree with the decision, he made little attempt to rebuff the judge’s decision saying “I can’t cry over anything. I’ll come back strong like a true champion, I would love to have a rematch to get my titles back. I knew running would be his game plan. Everyone knew that was his game plan. I thought I won and that’s it.” Thurman pulled off the split decision victory, much to the dismay of the pro-Garcia crowd. The scores were 116-112 Thurman, 115-113 Garcia, and 115-113 Thurman.
The co-feature bout of the night saw 21-year-old Erickson the “Hammer” Lubin (18-0, 13KOs) gets a world title shot, after leveling fellow super-welterweight, Jorge Cota (23-2, 20KOs). The bout was called after Lubin clocked Cota with an over-hand left, sending the puncher from Sinaloa, to the mat. Time was 1:25 into the 4th round. With the win, Lubin becomes the mandatory challenger for Jermell Charlo’s WBC super-welterweight title.
*Lubin is vaulted to number one contender against Jermell Charlo (25-0, 19KOs). A win against unbeaten Charlo, would make Lubin the youngest champion.
Undercard for Thurman versus Garcia
Light heavy weight Andrzej Fonfara, (29-4, 17KOs) proved his medal with a TKO win over Chad Dawson (34-5, 19KOs). Fanfara’s fierce right sent Dawson to the mat in the 9th, a knockdown he would not fully recover from. Referee David Fields called a halt to the fight .38 seconds into the 10th.
Junior welterweight Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10 KOs) took the ‘W’ in the 7th of a scheduled 8 round match against Clarence Booth (14-3, 7KOs). Lipinets finished Booth with a knockdown at 1:33 of the 7th.
In his pro debut, hometown welterweight Richardson Hitchins, (1-0, 1KO) wins over Mario Perez (1-1) in a 4 rounder. Perez would hit the mat twice. Time was 1:33 in the first round.
WBC International featherweight Heather Hardy (19-0, 4KOs) won an 8-round UD over Edina Kiss (13-3, 8KOs).