BROOKLYN - As fight night nears for the highly anticipated welterweight world title unification showdown between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, top boxing personalities including fighters, trainers and journalists are weighing-in with their predictions for the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, this Saturday, March 4 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Broadcast coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with undefeated rising star Erickson Lubin battling once-beaten knockout artist Jorge Cota in a super welterweight title eliminator bout.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what boxing experts, journalists and fighters had to, along with their predictions:
Shawn Porter, former 147-pound champion, Keith Thurman MD 12 Danny Garcia: I've watched both Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman all the way through the amateurs and now in the pros. They're both really good fighters. Both strong. Both intelligent. Both make good adjustments over the course of a fight. I'm choosing Thurman to stay undefeated because, I think not only is he a little stronger, and a little smarter, but I also think his boxing ability is superior to Garcia's.
I think he's going to give Danny problems when he moves. I think Thurman is going to have Danny off-balance. I think Thurman is going to make it very hard for Garcia to set up his offense. And I think based off of that one element Thurman will win a majority decision
Mikey Garcia, three-division and 135-pound champion, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: I think Danny Garcia takes it. He finds a way to win. He has experience and has been able to make adjustments to get the win. Garcia by decision over Keith Thurman.
Jarrett Hurd, 154-pound champion, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: I haven't seen Danny Garcia hurt before, but I've seen Keith Thurman hurt to the body against Luis Collazo. Garcia took punches from hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse. No matter how much Garcia's been the underdog, he always finds a way to pull the upset.
Andre Berto, former 147-pound champion, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: It's going to be a great fight. I'm learning toward Keith Thurman over Danny Garcia.
Robert Guerrero, multi-division champion, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: I'm picking Keith Thurman to win by decision over Danny Garcia. Both fight with a lot of heart, and it's going to be a Fight if they Year type of fight. I just think Thurman has more weapons in his arsenal. Both are undefeated, so may the best man win.
Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports, Keith Thurman UD 12 Danny Garcia: I love this fight and I really feel that it's a toss of a coin. Danny Garcia has faced better opposition, but I feel that Keith Thurman is about to make a statement.
Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: First of all, this looks to be a terrific fight, so props to both fighters for risking their undefeated records and not hiding behind belts. This could easily go either way; I see it going to a decision with Danny Garcia winning. I think he's fought the better opponents and will be able to land the bigger punches against a boxer in Keith Thurman who will at times give him fits.
Bob Velin, USA Today/Boxing Junkie, Keith Thurman TKO 10 Danny Garcia: Keith Thurman is fresh, confident as hell after beating Shawn Porter, as relaxed as I've seen him, in the best shape of his life and, thanks to Angel Garcia's mouth, perhaps just a little bit extra motivated to shut that mouth. Danny Garcia is an underrated boxer and puncher and will give Thurman all he can handle. But eventually "Swift" will succumb to Thurman's power. Both men have a strong desire to be the face of the welterweight division, if not all of boxing. I believe "One Time" will prevail.
Mike Coppinger, USA Today, Boxing Junkie, Danny Garcia SD 12 Keith Thurman: Danny Garcia is the more experienced, seasoned fighter, and it should be apparent on March 4. The underrated Philadelphian never got enough credit for upset wins over Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse, and it seems he's being overlooked again. Keith Thurman will bring it, and both men could be hurt in a fight with many big exchanges. But I say Garcia ekes out a deserving nod.
Gordon Marino, Wall Street Journal, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: I am picking Danny Garcia by a decision. I think Garcia has superb skills. Keith Thurman is explosive but wild and I think Danny will be able to capitalize on the many openings that Thurman will give him. Danny has a good jab and he closes the distance well. I think Garcia is a multi-dimensional fighter whereas with Thurman, all his eggs are in the knockout basket. On the mental side, both of these guys have great confidence in themselves and a mighty will to win. They both have solid chins. This is a terrific matchup.
Thomas Gerbasi, BoxingScene.com, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: Keith Thurman has been fighting at a higher level more consistently than Danny Garcia as of late, and the Shawn Porter fight showed him to be able to make adjustments on the fly when necessary. All should serve him well on Saturday.
Bobby Cassidy, Newsday, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: Any time you have two undefeated fighters - in the prime of their careers - it's extremely difficult to pick a winner. I think the difference in this fight will come down to experience. Danny Garcia has been fighting better competition for longer. He's been here before and when the going gets tough, he'll be able to weather the storm and box through it. While Keith Thurman holds the decisive edge in power, I think Danny is more versatile. He's quicker and is the better boxer. Danny has more tools to win the fight than Thurman and he's going to need all those tools. I think Garcia wins a close unanimous decision.
Cliff Rold, BoxingScene.com, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: Danny Garcia seems to come up biggest in big moments, underachieving when the lights are dimmer.
Keith Thurman has a power advantage, but Garcia maybe the better boxer. With Garcia's left hand counter being a tonic to a Thurman who sometimes lunges, in what could be a messy fight at times, I'll go with Garcia by the skin of his teeth.
Norm Frauenheim, The Ring/15rounds.com, Keith Thurman UD 12 Danny Garcia: Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse are two good reminders of just how foolish it is to pick against Danny Garcia, who is always at his resilient best when odds and pundits line up against him. But Keith Thurman knows that, and he's smart enough to know that history repeats itself if its lessons are ignored. He won't.
Thurman also knows how to use a very good jab, which could be a foil against Garcia's dangerous counter and -- if consistent -- enough to score points in a narrow, perhaps controversial victory.
James "Smitty" Smith, In This Corner TV, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: My pick is that Keith Thurman will beat Danny Garcia by decision with his overall versatility and athleticism.
Ronnie Shields, trainer of Jermall Charlo and others, Keith Thurman D 12 Danny Garcia: Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia is a 50-50 fight. Both guys are well-schooled, and I predict that it will end in a split-draw.
Stephen Edwards, trainer of 154-pound contender Julian Williams, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: Keith Thurman has the faster feet and more skiddish style. Although he is looked at as the puncher, Danny Garcia has to not chase Thurman. Garcia has to make Thurman come to him so he can counter punch. Garcia's dilemma is does he chase Thurman or does he wait. He always makes the right decision. I say that he waits and wins a controversial decision.
Derrick James, trainer of 147-pound contender Errol Spence Jr.: Danny Garcia SD 12 Keith Thurman: It should be an interesting fight. Danny Garcia has the speed, and he should be able to use that to his advantage. On the other hand, Keith Thurman should have more power and if he lands, Garcia may be in trouble. I am focused on our fight with Kell Brook, but I hope that we are able to fight the winner, which I think will be Garcia by close split-decision victory.
Ernesto Rodriguez, trainer of 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: I pick Keith Thurman due to adjustments to box when he's in trouble and his ability to hurt you with a punch. Tough bout to pick but I'm picking Thurman to beat Danny Garcia by decision.
Abel Sanchez, trainer of Gennady Golovkin, Danny Garcia W 12 Keith Thurman: In my opinion, Danny Garcia wins a tough, hard-fought decision. I never really thought that Keith Thurman would be able to pull it out in a hard, 12-round fight.
Ruben Guerrero, father and trainer of Robert Guerrero, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: I think Keith Thurman is going to win the fight, but he needs a knockout. If it goes to the distance, I think they'll give it to Danny Garcia.
Kevin Cunningham, trainer of Devon Alexander, Keith Thurman W 12 Danny Garcia: I've got Danny Garcia winning by a decision over Keith Thurman.