Do not count Keith Thurman among those who were overly impressed with Danny Garcia’s ring return.
At least not to the point of reversing their shared in-ring history.
Philadelphia’s Garcia ended a near 20-month layoff with a twelve-round decision win over Jose Benavidez Jr. in a terrific performance Saturday evening atop a Showtime tripleheader from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The same venue played host to Thurman’s split decision win over Garcia (37-3, 21KOs) in their March 2017 WBA/WBA unification bout between unbeaten welterweight titlists.
Garcia mentioned the fellow former titleholder among his desired hit list in the immediate future, in hopes of avenging at least one defeat. Thurman believes a rematch would turn out even worse for his old rival.
“I'm too pretty, I'm too blessed, Danny Garcia can never pass the Keith Thurman test,” Thurman told BoxingScene.com, feeling poetic after hearing Garcia call him out. “I beat that boy with bone spurs. You see, I wasn't even at my best.”
Thurman (30-1, 22KOs; 1NC) enjoyed the world’s worst victory lap following his win over Garcia, sitting out for 22 months to allow two separate injuries to heal. He has gone just 2-1 since then, with a win over Mario Barrios in February coming after a 31-month layoff due to recovering from hand surgery, enduring the pandemic and overcoming a bout with Covid.
His first comeback included a win over Josesito Lopez in January 2019. and a narrow defeat to the legendary Manny Pacquiao six months later to end his lengthy welterweight title reign. Thurman looked sharp in his win over Barrios, though was hit with Covid for a second time thus stalling plans for a summertime return.
The Clearwater, Florida native—who turns 34 in November—was last informed of a possible fight date in October. A second dance with Garcia was not necessarily on the hit list, though Thurman is prepared to use such an opportunity to further display what he still brings to the table as an aspiring multi-time and possible multi-division titlist.
Look man my IQ is even higher, his feet are slow like a flat tire,” insisted Thurman. “Be careful of what you wish for, you silly Philly boy. This is not a game, it's not Street Fighter, but I will still hit you with that yoga fire.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox