Will Thurman use his strengths?
This fight contests two world-class boxers who mutually contain exceptional attributes unparalleled to the other. Thurman is the shrewder fighter and has shown in his career that he has the aptitude to modify his tactics mid-fight whilst holding advantages that could see Garcia struggle. This is a key aspect that the Florida native must use to his advantage to be successful against the rugged, powerful Garcia.
For Thurman to justify the favourite tag at odds of 1.436* the WBA Champion will need to keep a jab in Garcia’s face all night, move, and utilise his superior footwork - avoiding trading leather with Garcia, as the latter tactic could very well get “One Time” knocked out.
Thurman can win decisively if he makes Garcia chase and focuses on countering.
Thurman is well regarded as unique in sparring, the WBA champ was a gifted adolescent when training under the supervision of Ben Getty at St. Pete Boxing Club in St. Petersburg, Florida, and has shown enough boxing cleverness and capability thus far to suggest he is the sensible pick.
Sparring is where a fighter has the chance to improve all aspects of his performance long before they embark on a battle in the ring. It is where fighter and coach work on their strategy, allowing key advantages to be applied to become triumphant at the elite level. Thurman is the naturally faster, stronger fighter, who can be victorious by applying these superior advantages.
Beware of the Garcia “Philly” left hook
Equipped with one of boxing’s paramount left hooks, Philadelphian Garcia (3.00*) has now dominated two weight divisions after winning a championship at 147-pound against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero at the start of 2016.
It is evident that the fight has a significant chance of following one of two outcomes - Thurman via decision or Garcia via knockout.
WBC king Garcia is also a former WBA/WBC super lightweight champion with underrated pedigree. The sharp brawler possesses great timing in his arsenal of tricks, can punch with either hand and if timed correctly, has the ability to change the course of a fight in one punch.
It is worth noting that “Swift” was an underdog in what to-date have been the two most noteworthy bouts of his nine-year pro career.
Argentine knockout artist, Lucas Matthysse was a 1.50 favourite over Garcia entering their light-welterweight title fight back in 2013. While Britain’s Amir Khan was comprehensively favoured over “Swift” when the pair met back in 2011 - with Garcia as long as a 7.00 underdog.
Garcia shook the boxing world on both occasions, demonstrating raw power at world level in both fights, yet still remains a fairly lopsided underdog against Thurman despite demonstrating on more than one occasion the will and capability to excel at the top level.
Somebody’s 0 must go
Both fighters are unbeaten and something will have to give. The general consensus is if it’s a boxing match, then Thurman will be the fighter in charge. If it’s a dogfight, then Garcia will emerge victorious. Garcia is a better fighter when going toe-to-toe. The Philadelphian can box, but is almost certainly a superior fighter than he is a boxer. Thurman possesses the better boxing ability and is a better boxer than an inside fighter.
Thurman is the shrewder fighter and has shown in his career that he has the aptitude to modify his tactics mid-fight.
The WBA champion can win decisively if he makes Garcia chase and focuses on countering. This is the tactic that Dan Birmingham (Thurman’s coach) will want his fighter to follow and aim for a lopsided points win - the outcome of the bout will then fundamentally depend on who applies their key advantages and sticks to their plan for the 12-rounds.
How will the fight be won?
Fighters at world level often have an exceptional attribute, compared to more breakable ones - this is certainly the case in Thurman vs. Garcia. After exploring the strengths and weaknesses of each fighter, it is evident that the fight has a significant chance of following one of two outcomes - Thurman via decision or Garcia via knockout.
There are a lot of big fights out there at Welterweight for the victor in what is a hot division at present. Will Thurman utilise his advantages and astound to an elegant and relaxed decision, or can Garcia land his trademark powerful left-hook and disregard the odds one more time?
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