Welterweight ace Keith Thurman has warned fellow champion Danny Garcia he will be his toughest fight yet.
The unbeaten pair clash this weekend, exclusively live on BoxNation, in what is one of the most eagerly anticipated fights of the year as Floridian Thurman puts his WBA world title on the line against WBC champion Garcia.
The heavy-hitters will meet at the Barclays Center in New York on Saturday night and 28-year-old Thurman, who has won all 27 of his fights, with 22 knockouts, is not worried about losing his perfect record and believes he will be Garcia’s toughest foe to date.
“It’s not easy to be Keith Thurman, I got an ‘0’ and I’m not afraid to let it go,” said Thurman.
“If you can beat me, beat me. I’m going to shake your hand at the end of the fight. I’m going to congratulate you at the end of the fight. But I don’t bow down to nobody and I know that I’m the greatest challenge that most fighters will ever face.
“That’s where my confidence comes from and, you know, I’m just looking forward to the fight. It’s going to be a great fight,” he said.
When Thurman and Garcia do meet they will be unifying the same world titles as ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns did in their 1981 ‘Fight of the Year’ clash.
This showdown is expected to produce similar fireworks with Thurman believing that his naturally bigger size will be a telling factor in the fight.
“I love another man trying to get the best of me right in front of me, going toe-to-toe with me. I just live for it. I’ll never back down. I’m bigger than Danny naturally,” said Thurman.
“He was always smaller than me in the amateurs. He’s smaller than me in the pros. He’s moving up. He might hold his weight well but I’m just a little bit bigger. So that gives me some confidence there.
“We both have great records, great resumes, lots of knockouts, but I have less fights, more knockouts. So I believe that I do punch harder and that I’ll just edge him out statistically a little bit.
“It’s going to come down to who lands the right punches at the right time and strength and conditioning and just everything that the fight game is about. I always come prepared for these kind of fights. I’m just looking forward to it,” Thurman said.
28-year-old Philadelphia native Garcia disputes Thurman’s claim that he is the smaller man, insisting he only stayed at light-welterweight because he held the world titles at 140-pounds.
“To be honest with you I’ve been a welterweight – I was just shrinking myself down to 140 like after I fought [Lucas] Matthysse, my plan was to move up to 147 in 2013, because I couldn’t make the weight no more,” said Garcia.
“We had the title, so we decided to keep squeezing ourselves down. It kind of hurt me in a couple of performances. I wasn’t able to perform my best because of the weight but I feel like I’ve been a true welterweight. I should have been a welterweight since 2013.
“I’m tough for the weight class. I’ve got big shoulders. So I definitely feel like welterweight is my natural weight class. I was just squeezing myself down throughout the years and I’m happy that I’m able to let my body grow and filling to the welterweight division now,” he said.
Thurman v Garcia is exclusively live on BoxNation this Saturday night. Buy now at boxnation.com.
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