A potential rematch means more to Danny Garcia than Keith Thurman because Garcia wants to avenge his first professional loss.
Garcia still would rather fight Manny Pacquiao or Errol Spence Jr. whenever the boxing business resumes, but a rematch with Thurman remains one of the biggest fights available for the former WBC welterweight champion. Thurman is interested in it, too.
“I heard Danny and his father are always interested in the rematch,” Thurman told BoxingScene.com. “To them, it’s a grudge match. They believe that they can get me, and they would like to redeem themselves. So, that’s always a fun fight, going back in the ring with Danny Garcia.”
Thurman won their battle between unbeaten 147-pound champions by split decision three years ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Judges John McKaie (116-112) and Joe Pasquale (115-113) scored that March 2017 fight for Thurman, who lost 115-113 on judge Kevin Morgan’s card.
The 31-year-old Thurman is confident he can defeat Garcia more convincingly in a rematch.
“I believe that I can do more damage to Danny Garcia,” Thurman said in reference to a second fight. “I think I can out-box him nicely. And I just don’t think that he’s ever really changed. I don’t think he’s gonna utilize his jab any more than he has done in the past. I see him being a little predictable. He’s just gonna want what he’s gonna want, which is the big punch. I loved watching him miss all day the first time.”
Thurman retained his WBA welterweight title and won the WBC belt from Garcia. CBS aired Thurman-Garcia, which drew a peak audience of 5,100,000 and an average viewership of 3,740,000 on free TV.
Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC), of Clearwater, Florida, is still recovering from surgery on his left hand, a procedure he underwent September 4. He suffered his first defeat in his last fight, a 12-round split decision to the Philippines’ Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) on July 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Prior to Thurman-Pacquiao, Thurman-Garcia was the biggest fight of my career,” Thurman said. “It was the highlight of my career, still one of the highlights of my career, because that’s when I became the unified champion of the welterweight division. So, it was just a great fight, a great show out at the Barclays [Center]. We just get so much love out there in New York. I think the rematch could possibly be back in New York. It possibly could be a Vegas fight. But I like the fight.
“I think it’s a great next fight. I’d be really cool with that. Of course, we’d have to see what else is on the table. I think it’d be worthy of a title eliminator, thus the winner gets a champion next. With all that said, I’m gung-ho about signing on the dotted line. Believe that.”
Philadelphia’s Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) defeated Ukraine’s Ivan Redkach (23-5-1, 18 KOs) by unanimous decision in his last bout, a 12-rounder January 25 at Barclays Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.