This Saturday night, on March 4th at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, two of boxing’s biggest stars will put their belts, and perhaps more importantly, their undefeated records on the line in a match to decide who will take over the mantle of king of boxing’s prodigious 147lb division. Floridian Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman will put his WBA world title on the line against WBC champ and Philadelphia native, Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia. With neither fighter yet experiencing defeat in the ring, both men are supremely confident of emerging victorious on Saturday night, not only unifying two of the most established belts in boxing, but also being crowned the new welterweight king.
Despite not being a fully established welterweight like his opponent Keith Thurman, former 140lb unified kingpin Danny Garcia comes into this fight with a literal who’s who of former world-class opponents filling up his resume. Hall of fame candidate and all-time great Erik ‘El Terrible’ Morales, murderous Argentine puncher Lucas Matthysse, and new Manny Pacquiao opponent Amir Khan have all been among the many casualties of ‘Swift’s’ impressive win column. While Danny’s climb to the top of boxing’s summit might not have been an easy one, his recent 140lb dominance, impressive resume and subsequent successful transition to welterweight have all shown that Danny Garcia is no doubt one of the top fighters currently in the world.
However, despite holding such an impressive resume, Danny Garcia has been on, what many fans believe, to be the fortunate end of some very questionable recent decisions. Razor thin victories over Mauricio Herrera and current WBA champion Lamont Peterson in Puerto Rico and Brooklyn respectively, have continued to hound Garcia’s credibility in the lead up to this fight.
Keith Thurman on the other hand, while not quite having the star studded resume of his opponent, has nonetheless been steadily racking up a series of noteworthy wins over the last few years. Wins against European title holders Jan Zaveck and Leonard Bundu catapulted Thurman into what has no doubt been the most noteworthy win of his career so far, a victory over former IBF world champion ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter.
In what was a thrilling encounter from start to finish, and a potential fight of the year candidate for many observers in 2016, Keith Thurman won a narrow, hard fought points victory over Porter. Thurman, who up to that point had been dominating the majority of his opponents with a remarkable 85% KO ratio, showed tremendous adaptability in that fight, peppering the more aggressive Porter with fast, blistering jabs and uppercuts which rocked the smaller man. Moving constantly throughout the fight and employing a terrific backfoot game, Thurman revealed layers to his game which were previously unseen by many in the boxing community before that night.
While both men have faced legitimate competition in their journey to get to this point, on Saturday night, both Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman will perhaps face the sternest tests of their careers so far when they come face to face in the ring at the Barclays Center in New York City.
The outcome of this fight will likely come down to one of two things, Garcia’s devasting mid-range body attack, or Thurman’s superior ring movement and timing. Danny in the past has feasted off guys who have tasted his power early and backed away just enough from him that they find themselves exposed to his ferocious ambush mid-range hooks. He is a hunter who will focus on his prepared body attack in order to catch opponents in the later rounds and ruthlessly finish them. Thurman however, has power of his own, and apart from Lucas Matthysse, Danny has never been in the ring with someone who hits quite as hard as Keith Thurman. More importantly however, Thurman rarely fights from mid-range, preferring instead to either finish opponents up-close like he has done in the past, or use his superior foot movement, combined with a solid jab to effectively outbox opponents, such as that shown against Shawn Porter. Garcia in the past has been susceptible to this ‘outside’ style, getting continually outmaneuvered by more fluid fighters like Ashley Theophane and Lamont Peterson in their previous fights against the WBC champ.
Overall, while Danny Garcia certainly has the power to make this an early night for Keith Thurman, I believe ‘One Time’s’ more advanced technical skills and keen ring generalship should prove too much for Danny come Saturday.
Pick: Keith Thurman by Decision
Let us hear your comments on the upcoming clash below.
Oscar De La Hoya Denies Sexual Assault Allegations
Boxing Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya has been accused of sexual assault by an unidentified woman via court papers that were submitted for filing in the Californica Superior Court for Los Angeles County, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
On October 17th, Greg Kirakosian, the attorney for the San Bernardino, California, woman, submitted the 10-page lawsuit, and the unidentified woman is reportedly seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages for alleged sexual assault, sexual battery, gender violence, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to documents obtained by ESPN.
“To date, Plaintiff continues to suffer from extreme distress, humiliation, indignation and outrage as a result of De La Hoya’s conduct,” the lawsuit said. “As a result of said distress, Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer constant and daily symptoms of depression, anxiety, and related symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
The woman, who did not indicate within the lawsuit if she filed a report with the police, claims that she met and became friends with De La Hoya in late 2016 before they eventually began a consensual sexual relationship. However, she claims that on November 12th, 2017 the things turned violent when she was invited by De La Hoya to see a new home he had purchased in Pasadena, California.
While the woman claims that the two would have consensual sex later that night, an allegedly intoxicated De La Hoya became more aggressive when she denied his requests for a specific sex act stating; “Plaintiff repeatedly said no and demanded that De La Hoya stop.” It then says De La Hoya “overpowered her” and violently sexually assaulted her.
The woman states in the lawsuit that she “screamed in pain,” got away from De La Hoya and screamed at him, but that De La Hoya laughed “and responded by repeatedly urging Plaintiff to take a shot of alcohol.” The woman eventually collected herself and left “in extreme shock and pain.”
Additionally, the lawsuit states that the woman “felt extreme swelling and pain” and sought medical treatment at an urgent care facility, where she was prescribed medication. According to the lawsuit, the woman later was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the alleged assault.
De La Hoya, 46, has denied the allegations.
“A frivolous lawsuit was filed recently alleging that Oscar De La Hoya sexually assaulted ‘Jane Doe,’ which is completely false,” the statement from his spokesman said. “Oscar is a very successful businessman, running one of the country’s leading sports and entertainment companies — thus a prime target. It is worth noting that both recent lawsuits have been filed by the same attorney who is looking to make a name for himself. We vehemently deny these allegations and look forward to vigorously defending Oscar’s good name and reputation.”
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Boxer Patrick Day Dies of Brain Injuries Following Knockout
Less than a week from suffering a brutal 10th-round knockout loss on Saturday night, Junior middleweight Patrick Day died from brain injuries endured from the fight on Wednesday at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, promoter Lou DiBella said, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
Day, 27, was knocked out by unbeaten 21-year old Charles Cornwell, a blue chip prospect and 2016 United States Olympian, in a fight that Cornwell controlled throughout although Day put up a fight.
Cornwell delivered two rights along with a left hook that knocked out Day, slamming the back of his head on the canvas hard and prompting referee Celestino Ruiz to stop the fight without a count.
“On behalf of Patrick’s family, team, and those closest to him, we are grateful for the prayers, expressions of support and outpouring of love for Pat that have been so obvious since his injury,” DiBella said in a statement. “He was a son, brother, and good friend to many. Pat’s kindness, positivity, and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met.”
Day received medical attention and was removed from the ring via stretcher where he was taken to an ambulance and transported to a hospital.
Day never regained consciousness. Day had a seizure at one point, and then lapsed into a coma before undergoing emergency brain surgery with doctors giving him very little chance for survival.
“During his short life, boxing allowed Patrick to impact many communities, both big and small,” DiBella said. “In his hometown of Freeport, Long Island, he was a beacon of light and the star pupil at the Freeport PAL, the gym he trained in from the moment he began boxing until the last bout of his career. He was recognized as one of Long Island’s finest professional fighters for years. He was a fixture in the boxing community throughout New York City. Patrick was even known in Japan, which he visited to spar with his friend and colleague, world champion Ryota Murata.”
The fight was streamed live on DAZN, who issued the following:
“DAZN is incredibly saddened to learn about the passing of Patrick Day,” a DAZN spokesman said in a statement. “Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
“I never meant for this to happen to you,” Conwell wrote. “All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would. No one deserves for this to happen to them. I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you. I can’t stop thinking about it myself. I prayed for you so many times and shedded so many tears because I couldn’t even imagine how my family and friends would feel. I see you everywhere I go and all I hear is wonderful things about you.”
“Before establishing himself as a world class professional fighter, Pat was a highly decorated amateur,” DiBella said. “He won two nationals titles, the New York Golden Gloves tournament and was an Olympic team alternate, all in 2012. Day turned pro in 2013 and overcame early career struggles to become a world-rated (junior middleweight) contender. He captured the WBC Continental Americas championship in 2017 and the IBF Intercontinental championship in 2019. In June 2019, he was rated in the top 10 by both the WBC and IBF.
“He was also a dedicated college student, having earned an associate’s degree in food and nutrition from Nassau Community College and, subsequently, a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness from Kaplan University.”
“Patrick Day didn’t need to box,” DiBella said. “He came from a good family, he was smart, educated, had good values and had other avenues available to him to earn a living. He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring. Boxing is what Pat loved to do. It’s how he inspired people and it was something that made him feel alive.”
Dibella went on to say that he hopes Day’s death will lead to ways to make boxing a safer sport.
“It becomes very difficult to explain away or justify the dangers of boxing at a time like this,” DiBella said. “This is not a time where edicts or pronouncements are appropriate, or the answers are readily available. It is, however, a time for a call to action. While we don’t have the answers, we certainly know many of the questions, have the means to answer them, and have the opportunity to respond responsibly and accordingly and make boxing safer for all who participate.
“This is a way we can honor the legacy of Pat Day. Many people live much longer than Patrick’s 27 years, wondering if they made a difference or positively affected their world. This was not the case for Patrick Day when he left us. Rest in peace and power, Pat, with the angels.”
Errol Spence Jr. Hospitalized Following Car Crash
Unified Welterwight World Champion Error Spence Jr. has been hospitalized with serious injuries following a one-car crash early Thursday, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
Spence crashed his Ferrari overnight and is currently in intensive care, but is expected to live.
“Errol was in an accident, and his parents are with him at the hospital,” Premier Boxing Champions spokesman Tim Smith said, per the report. “The doctors are monitoring his condition, but his injuries are not life-threatening. We will have further updates as the doctors update his condition. We’re all wishing the best for Errol.”
“The Ferrari veered left over the center median onto the southbound lanes and flipped multiple times, ejecting the driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt,” police said.
Police are investigating the cause of the crash, which they say occurred at 2:53 am when the car was traveling at “a high rate of speed.”
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