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Boxing | International

Garcia v Thurman in unification fight

WBA champion Keith Thurman and WBC champion Danny Garcia meet in a rare unification matchup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night.

The fight will be shown live on Sunday on SS2 from 4-8am.

The undefeated pair bring the WBA and WBC welterweight belts into contention in this highly anticipated fight.

Thurman, 28, who has a record of 27-0; 22, won the WBA belt in March 2015 when he defeated Robert Guerrero and then made successful defences against Luis Collazo and Shawn Porter.

Garcia, also 28 with a record of 33-0; 19, has previously held the WBA and WBC junior welterweight belts and won the vacant WBC welterweight belt when he beat Guerrero in January last year. In his most recent fight in November 2016 he stopped Samuel Vargas in a non-title fight.

Thurman, who hails from Clearwater in Florida, made his pro debut in November 2007 and went into the biggest fight of his career when he faced Porter, who had just come off a win over former three-division world champion Adrien Broner. In a closely fought contest with Porter he won with scores of 115-113 on all three judges' scorecards.

Garcia, who is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has some impressive names on his record after scoring wins over quality fighters like Amir Khan, Lucas Matthyse, Lamont Peterson, Paul Malignaggi, Zab Judah and Eric Morales.

Even though he has won two world junior welterweight belts and has an unbeaten record, Garcia remains underrated. However, he has good timing and as a brawler has power in both hands.

There is very little difference in height and reach between the fighters, with Garcia the better fighter on the inside and Thurman possibly the better all-round boxer.

The questions going into the fight are about whether Thurman can use his strengths and if Garcia can once again defy the odds.

Predicting a winner when these two top quality fighters meet is difficult. The odds-makers have Thurman as a slight favourite.

The other welterweight champions are Manny Pacquiao (WBO) and Kell Brook (IBF).

On the undercard, Andrezej Fonfara (28-4; 16) meets southpaw Chad Dawson in a 10-round light heavyweight bout.


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