Barclay's Canter, Brooklyn, NY, March 4
By Peter Lim
Garcia and Thurman represent each other's toughest tests to date. Garcia might have fought a longer list of quality opponents, but in that same vein, he is the more shopworn of the two. Both are 28 years old but Thurman appears to be the fresher of the two and holds an edge in both speed and power.
Garcia has proven he has the dexterity to out-maneuver slick speedsters and the chin to outlast crushing power punchers but he has never faced a fighter like Thurman, with such a lethal combination of blaze and bang . He neutralized Amir Khan's speed with timing and absorbed Lucas Mathysse's power shots with aplomb. Thurman, though, represents an eclectic hybrid of Khan and Mathysse who has incorporated their best assets but discarded their weaknesses.
The result of this showdown will be determined not by who has the better assets but who has the more exploitable weakness. Shawn Porter and Luis Collazo exposed Thurman's Achilles' heel - he doesn't handle body shots too well - something that has not been lost on Garcia and his camp.
Thurman dominates the early rounds with superior speed and movement, but midway through the bout, Garcia digs a hook to the torso that visibly hurts Thurman. While Porter and Collazo allowed Thurman to regroup, Garcia does not make the same mistake. He zeroes his shots downstairs to inflict further damage. Thurman never fully recovers and, for the remainder of the fight, he is preoccupied with protecting his ribcage, paving the way for Garcia to cruise to a comfortable decision victory.