By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Angel Garcia doesn’t see the same fighter that beat his son when he looks at Keith Thurman these days.
Danny Garcia’s father/trainer is convinced that the former WBC welterweight champion took so much out of Thurman physically that he’ll never be the same. Thurman has acknowledged the toll their 12-round, 147-pound title bout in March 2017 took on him.
It led to Thurman getting surgery to repair his right elbow the following month.
“Danny put an icing on him, man,” Angel Garcia told a group of reporters at MGM Grand on Thursday. “He ain’t the same. Man, you can see it in his camp, bro. He’s slapping and all this sh*t. He’s not turning them shots.”
The 30-year-old Thurman has fought just once since he defeated Philadelphia’s Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) by split decision in their welterweight title unification fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Clearwater, Florida, native’s recovery from elbow surgery took longer than Thurman expected. Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) also suffered a deep bruise to his left hand once he resumed training, which extended an already lengthy layoff to 22 months.
When Thurman finally returned to the ring January 26, he understandably appeared rusty. Josesito Lopez (36-8, 19 KOs, 1 NC), a huge underdog, hurt Thurman badly during the seventh round of that fight at Barclays Center.
Thurman managed to mostly move and hold his way to the end of that seventh round. He regained control of their fight during the eighth round, and Thurman went on to win a 12-round majority decision (117-109, 115-111, 113-113).
Angel Garcia doesn’t expect Thurman to beat Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night, even though the defending WBA “super” welterweight champion is 10 years younger than the 40-year-old Filipino legend. The Philippines’ Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) is slightly favored to top Thurman in their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event at MGM Grand Garden Arena (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT; $74.95 in HD).
Angel Garcia does give credit Thurman for beating Danny Garcia.
“Listen, bro, I can’t bitch because we got two Ls,” Angel Garcia said, referring to Danny’s points losses to Thurman and Shawn Porter. “I can’t bitch about that. I was mad about it. I’m over that, but we move on. But we can rematch whenever they want. Whenever they want, we can rematch it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.