Boxing

Keith Thurman vs. Manny Pacquiao or Timothy Bradley next after win over Danny Garcia

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Bradley vs Pacquiao
PHOTOGRAPH: Instagram/@TimothyBradley | Bradley vs Pacquiao

Keith Thurman won over Danny Garcia via split decision on Saturday night but fans were not convinced with his poor performance. But the victory could lead him to a fight against either Manny Pacquiao or Timothy Bradley later in 2017.

Both Thurman and Garcia were undefeated in the match on Saturday for two titles in the welterweight division. The World Boxing Council (WBC) world welterweight and World Boxing Association (WBA) super world welterweight belts were at stake in the match.

Keith Thurman relaxed in the fight, almost costing him the win

Thurman was ahead in the first five rounds of the bout, as reported by Yahoo Sports. But it was noted that Thurman relaxed in the second half of the fight and appeared to slow down considerably. That almost cost him the fight but the Thurman won via the judges’ scorecards with two judges scoring it for Thurman, 116-112 and 115-113 and Garcia getting the win for the other judge, 115-113.

Thurman explained post-fight that he already felt like he had the win early on. He said that the defensive game plan in the second half of the 12-round championship was part of the team’s plans.

“The judges are judges. I thought out-boxed him. I thought it was a clear victory, but Danny came to fight. I knew when it was split and I had that widespread, I knew it had to go to me,” Thurman, who was booed post-fight by many fans, stated in the post-match interview.

“I was not giving the fight away. I felt like we had a nice lead, we could cool down. I felt like we were controlling the three-minute intervals every round. My defense was effective – he wasn’t landing,”

Garcia boxed well but came up short

Garcia was more aggressive from rounds six to twelve and he knew he had to knockdown or knockout Thurman for a chance to steal the win. He was dominated in the first five rounds but made a good account of himself after that.

Keith Thurman remained undefeated with the win on Saturday and unified the welterweight titles in the WBC and WBA. Garcia suffered his first loss in his boxing career.

Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports talked about a possible Thurman vs. Garcia rematch. But stated that Thurman is better off going up against other top welterweights. The list includes Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.

If Pacquiao is searching for another opponent, Keith Thurman is a good option since he’s going up against a top prospect in the welterweight division. Pacquiao is set to fight in the United Arab Emirates later this year against Amir Khan. Although that fight is not yet final.

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Photo Courtesy: Instagram/@TimothyBradley

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