In a rare welterweight unification bout, Keith Thurman retained his WBA title and earned the WBC strap with a split decision win over Danny Garcia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
Thurman, as promised, came out swinging in the first round, as he threw quick combinations and got right in Garcia’s face. The right crosses were landing nearly at will for Thurman and midway through the round connected with a hard right that stunned Garcia.
Garcia attempted to establish his jab and countered with left hooks to the body while slowing down the pace of the fight once he timed Thurman’s rights more effectively. Thurman however, continued to apply the pressure and followed Garcia around the ring while using his lateral movement to limit the opportunities for Garcia to throw combinations.
Late in the fight, Thurman was confident enough in his performance that he began to take rounds off, which gave Garcia the opportunity to get back in the fight, but ultimately was not enough. Final scores were 116-112 (Thurman), 115-113 (Garcia) and 115-113 (Thurman).
In the opening fight of the telecast, Erickson Lubin scored a sensational knockout win over Jorge Cota. Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs) pulled off a videogame-like move, reminiscent of a prime Roy Jones when he literally squatted down, rose up and then flattened Cota with a lead left cross.