Deep down, Keith Thurman knows. Deep down, he believes.
This one, this one, will be tougher than his fight-of-the-year victory over Shawn Porter. This one, this one, will be more of a challenge. This one, this one, puts his face at risk.
For Thurman, this is the fight to silence any doubters, although after his victory over Porter, there can’t be many left. This time, he fights to unify the WBA and WBO welterweight title belts when he matches his unbeaten record against that of Danny Garcia, who is 33-0.
“I’m bigger than Danny, naturally. He was always smaller than me in the amateurs. He’s smaller than me in the pros. He’s moving up (in weight). He may hold the weight well but I’m just a little bigger so that gives me some confidence there.
“I have less fights and 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. I don’t bow down to nobody. I know I’m the greatest challenge most fighters will ever face, so there’s where my confidence comes from.’’
USA Today polled 33 boxers and trainers about the fight. Thurman got the edge 17-15-1. In other words, it’s expected to be a close fight.
Perhaps, the fight of the year.