Welterweight Champ Merry-Go Round: Thurman,Garcia, Pacquiao, Khan Brook,Spence
Editorial By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
On March 4, 2017, World Boxing Council World Welterweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia, 33-0 with 19 knockouts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will battle World Boxing Association World Welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, 27-0 with 22 knockouts, Clearwater, Florida, for the unified WBC and WBA Super World Welterweight titles. Odds favor Thurman by decision. This reporter favors Garcia by late round TKO.
Much like the old Jim Morrison song ‘Light My Fire’, International Boxing Federation World Welterweight champion Kell Brook, fresh from his destruction loss in his world middleweight title challenge against Gennady Golovkin, must now face the insane challenge of Errol Spence Jr. on May 20, 2017. Truth be told, not many British bookies will have their money on Brook. Once a hero, soon forgotten. Brook, 36-1 with 25 knockouts, Sheffield, United Kingdom, did not make it out of the fifth round against GGG at middleweight. Now, back in his 147 pound welterweight class, Brook will probably not last beyond the seventh or eighth round against Spence Jr., 21-0 with 18 knockouts, a southpaw from Desoto, Texas.
Here is where life gets interesting. Also on May 20, 2017, Manny Pacquiao, 59-6-2 with 38 knockouts, General Santos City, Philippines, will defend his World Boxing Organization World Welterweight title against the technically skilled but chinless ex-champion Amir Khan, 31-4 with 19 knockouts, Bolton, United Kingdom. Khan, the other half of the British equation in this four person brouhaha, has one advantage. At 30 years old, he has youth over ability to the 38 year old Pacquiao. Khan, who was unable to defeat Saul Canelo Alvarez at middleweight, hopes to catch Pacquiao and end his career. Pacquiao figures to outpoint Khan. You never know, but in this case, we do know Khan cannot overpower Pacquiao or take him out. Watch Pacquiao deck Khan a few times, and the leopard hunter will actively be hunting down the agile fox. Pacquiao should win by decision in 12, or chop Khan down in the second half of the bout otherwise.
These three bouts could lead to clarity in the welterweight division, where Lamont Peterson now holds the regular WBA World Welterweight title. A series of world Welterweight title unification bouts could prove interesting. If Spence can beat Brook, and Pacquiao can beat Khan, either one of them could fight the winner of Garcia versus Thurman or Lamont Peterson. One thing is certain: the present and future direction of the welterweight division will be clearer without Floyd. Yesterday, UFC Lightweight champion Conor McGregor’s longtime coach John Kavanagh predicted Floyd versus McGregor will still happen in 2017. Sportswriter Robert Brizel’s education on how to determine a unified champion in a pro boxing division is seen in his assessment of the different welterweight title bouts schedule.