Boxing gets a bad rap – but it often deserves to – from questionable outcomes, to an alphabet soup of titles, to quality fights that never get made. It is a sport which most certainly tests the patience of its fan base, let alone the general public. But every once in a while it gets it right. The upcoming match-up between welterweight champions Keith “One Time” Thurman and Danny “Swift” Garcia is one of those moments. Make no mistake this fight matters. Here’s why.
1. Your Watching History
It is only the third time in the sport that two undefeated welterweight champions are meeting to unify the titles. Hard to believe, given that professional boxing is over 100 years old. The Thurman-Garcia bout is in good company along-side Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad and Donald Curry vs. Milton McCrory. Some may also include Leonard vs. Hearns in the mix given that both were superstars in their prime when they fought, however, at the time Leonard had one loss to Roberto Duran. Irrespective of this, make no mistake, win, lose or draw both Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia are now a part of boxing history.
2. Daddy Issues
It wouldn’t be a proper bout without some theatrics. Thurman vs. Garcia has it in the form of Garcia’s father and trainer – Angel Garcia. Never one to hold his tongue the elder Garcia stepped into it at the very first press conference for the fight. Making a number of anti-gay slurs and calling Thurman the N-word on a number of occasions. The conduct was enough to bar him from all future pressers and sparked an investigation by the New York State Athletic Commission to determine whether he will be allowed to serve as trainer on March 4th. During a conference call Danny Garcia tried to explain his father’s actions telling us. “My dad’s from inner city Philadelphia. So he wasn’t being racist,” he said. “I know it’s not right, but people talk like that every day in the city of Philly or in any inner city you come from. So he wasn’t being racist. He was just talking like where he’s from. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it’s wrong. But at the end of the day, it is what it is.” Noble for a son to come the defense of his father, but can Garcia Sr. keep it together on fight night? Will be interesting to see!