They are now at that time where they would just like to do the damn fight, having slogged through the camp and answered the same twenty questions from the newsers for long enough so that the thought of what promises to be 36 minutes of contained violence is a preferable exercise to more of this same.
Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia are two days away from seeing, if not who THE best and brightest is at welterweight, then helping us narrow down that number a good bit.
The Floridian with the WBA belt and the Philly kid with the WBC version gathered Thursday at the Dream Hotel in NYC, a swank Chelsea joint, to bang the last drums ahead of the Saturday scrap at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The event was smooth and professional, no hijinks erupted in the least, contrary to the presser two months back which saw Danny’s dad Angel offer a snarly sermon of trash talk at Thurman which featured iffy language and had jaws dropping. And officials buzzzing…Garcia had to answer to the NY athletic commission, and assure them he’d mind his Ps and Qs this fight week and on fight night, if he was to receive a cornerman license for fight night. He would, he said, and thus word dropped right after the presser that a license would be coming his way.
Lou Dibella is promoting the Premier Boxing Champions slate, and portions will run on CBS, which is a big damn deal. Free boxing, no pay per view fee required, Dibella and Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza iterated durng their time at the mike on Thursday.
The faceoff reminds those with a few decades under their belts of more glorious days, when boxing enjoyed residual shine from Ali’s run, and Sugar Ray Leonard showed that welters could pack a wallop, in the ring and with the Nielsen people as well. Indeed, SRL will help call the fights, which include a showcase for Erickson Lubin, a 154 pound young gun, who meets banger Jorge Cota, and his presence is no after thought. Showtime is making a hard run at getting some distance from HBO, the industry standard leader which has had to work off the back foot the last two years as their operating budget was trimmed to the point that most of their A fare is shifted to PPV.
Garcia during his time at the mike said he was confident he will do what he does, which is win. He thanked God, then his dad, and then said “the fight deserves all the attention it’s getting.” The 33-0 (19 KOs) hitter said he wants to unify this division as he did at 140, and “I feel good, I feel confident.” He noted that he is the perennial underdog but hey, as long as the check has the right numbers written, he’s good. Garcia showed some humor when he said he had a letter his pop wrote. Naw, just kidding, he said, while the room cracked up. He was poking fun at his dad’s rants, and the levity was welcomed.
Thurman (27-0 with 22 Kos) at the mike said that this fight will deliver, because both men are young and hungry. He’s been doing this for 21 years, he said, and he’s digging the limelight. He’s dreamed about being a “great champion,” he said, and he will be doing it partially in the memory of original tutor Ben Getty. He lauded Garcia for being “smart” and “swift” and he seeks to be a legend when he hangs the gloves up. “If you can’t make it to the arena, you can make it to the couch,” he said, to chuckles. It’s on CBS, on prime time, he reminded all.
After, during a smaller scrum, Thurman was asked about his level of confidence. He told me he believes he thinks he had an edge in skills and that he will rudely welcome Garcia to 147. He says his win against Shawn Porter proves more than what and who Garcia has beaten to get here, seven pounds north of 140. “I’m not one dimensional,” he noted. He did allow that Garcia has a nice hook, the no look hook which he’s studied while calling the last two Garcia fights ringside.
Garcia also sat for an intimate scrum, along with dad. Angel said his kid is ready to rock, just has to lose maybe three pounds. Angel was asked about his level of confidence of a Danny win, and said “there’s never no fear, I only fear God.” He said Thurman won a vacated belt, and his kid fought for his belt. I asked about Thurman’s body language and Angel almost stepped in it. “I’m not trying to offend nobody out there,” he said, while trying to communicate that he thinks Thurman possesses the strength of a brute.
They are the tightest duo in the game, thick as thieves, and they are correct, Danny doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He doesn’t look the fastest, or strongest or sleekest or most nimble. He just wins, though.
Readers, talk to us; who wins and how?