Key takeaways from Thurman-Garcia

Danny Garcia has no interest in throwing straight punches.

Aside from his jab, which he used sparingly, every punch was a looping power-punch. Sometimes it looks like he’s pitching sidearm when he throws shots to the body and other times he uses an uppercut/hook hybrid that comes out like he’s pitching a softball. Although Garcia has always been a wide fighter, he’s been able to find his range eventually using an orbiting punch that makes his opponent pay for staying in the pocket too long. Thurman was ready for that punch and Garcia needed to straighten his shots out in order to get them to the desired target faster.

Keith Thurman deserves a lot of credit.

After going toe-to-toe with Shawn Porter it would have been easy for Thurman to ask for one or two stay-busy fights before trying to unify. Instead, he immediately follows up a great performance against Porter with a match against WBC champion, Garcia. He even accepted the fight at Garcia’s home away from home, Barclays Center. Choices like that certainly aren’t unheard of, but many PBC fighters haven’t exactly been pushed to their limit the last two years and it needs to be acknowledged.

Danny Garcia has much improved head movement.

Normally when you watch Garcia fight he gets hit a lot, looks flat-footed and remains stationary. His head barely moves and it’s almost as if he’s allowing his opponent to land just so he can counter. We saw this when he fought Khan, Matthysse, and Herrera. Against Thurman this wasn’t the case. Garcia put on one of his best defensive performances despite getting hit often early. He made Thurman miss on many occasions causing him to look wild and off-balance. However, he was never able to make him pay.

Keith Thurman can handle body punches.

After the Thurman-Collazo fight it was widely believed Thurman was soft to the body and punches placed downstairs was his kryptonite. At times, he looked uncomfortable when Garcia punched to his body but at no point did he appear hurt or slow down because of it. In fact, over the course of the fight, Garcia did his best work going to the body, and yet Thurman used his legs exceptionally well in the championship rounds when most fighters would be camping out on the ropes.

Danny Garcia needs to work on cutting off the ring.

Garcia-Thurman played out a lot like Garcia-Peterson, only in the reverse order. Peterson used his legs the first half of the fight against Garcia and came forward after round six, while Thurman pressured Garcia early and used his legs late. For some reason Garcia spent too much time following Thurman around ring and was hit by potshots in the process. Garcia is a natural counter-puncher but in order to beat fighters who aren’t stationary targets, he’s going to need improved ring closing skills. A fighter like Terence Crawford would have a field day with the Garcia who faced Thurman.

Keith Thurman is having a hard time living up to the ‘One Time’ moniker.

Several devastating power-punches landed for Thurman that would have dropped other welterweights. However, Garcia took his punches well and never appeared to be in serious trouble at any point in the fight. Thurman was constantly seeking to land the KO punch and even looked wild at times swinging at the air. The one punch knockouts for Thurman appear to be gone but he still has enough steam on his shots to make fighters like Garcia think twice about coming in.

Danny Garcia has a rock-solid chin.

Garcia has never touched the canvas in his entire career. Matthysse knocked his mouthpiece out, Lamont Peterson hit him with everything but the kitchen sink and Guerrero made his face look like it was attacked by bees. Still, Garcia never came close to going down. Thurman caught him with several heavy shots that nearly sent him to the canvas on two occasions, but Garcia managed to recover quickly and continue fighting. He may have some of the best recuperative power in the sport.