By Keith Idec, photo by Premier Boxing Champions
As long expected, Barclays Center will be announced soon after the New Year as the site for the highly anticipated Danny Garcia-Keith Thurman fight March 4.
Philadelphia’s Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) has headlined five cards at Barclays Center since that Brooklyn venue opened in 2012. Five of Garcia’s past nine fights overall have taken place there – most recently in August 2015, when he stopped Brooklyn’s Paulie Malignaggi in the ninth round of their welterweight fight.
Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs), of Clearwater, Florida, has fought twice at Barclays Center, including a 12-round, unanimous-decision win against Shawn Porter six months ago in what was widely viewed as one of the most entertaining fights of 2016.
Garcia and Thurman will fight for Garcia’s WBC world welterweight title and Thurman’s WBA world welterweight championship. Their scheduled 12-round fight could be broadcast by CBS, which televised Thurman-Porter, or Showtime, a premium-cable network owned by CBS.
Adding Garcia-Thurman, one of the best fights on boxing’s 2017 schedule, to Barclays Center’s agenda will continue what Brett Yormark projected last week will be a strong 2017 for the venue.
Yormark – chief executive officer for Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum – didn’t discuss specific fights during a meeting with reporters at the Brooklyn Nets’ training facility. He did acknowledge that Barclays Center would host “five or six” significant fight cards next year.
Barclays Center’s first boxing show of 2017 is scheduled for January 14.
That nine-bout card will feature a super middleweight championship unification bout between London’s James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs), the IBF 168-pound champion, and Sweden’s Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs), the WBC world 168-pound title-holder. In the co-featured fight, Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) is set to defend his IBF world featherweight championship against Gervonta Davis (16-0, 15 KOs), a hard-hitting southpaw from Baltimore.
Showtime will televise the DeGale-Jack and Pedraza-Davis fights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.