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Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia in rare company in boxing history as unbeatens in welterweight unification

Credit: Amanda Westcott / Showtime

Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns. Felix Trinidad vs. Oscar De La Hoya. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.

That is the elite company welterweight champions Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman will join when they meet in just the 10th unification in division history on Saturday, March 4 from Barclays Center. Garcia, the WBC titleholder, and Thurman, the WBA champion, will unify the exact same titles that Leonard (WBC) and Hearns (WBA) unified in their 1981 Fight of the Year.

And while Hearns was undefeated and Leonard entered with one loss, Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) and Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) will meet in just the third unification between undefeated welterweights in boxing history, the first since Trinidad vs. De La Hoya in 1999, a bout billed as “The Fight of the Millennium.”

Garcia vs. Thurman will be broadcast in Primetime on CBS, the first unification on network television in any division in over two decades (Note: Terry Norris vs. Paul Vaden at 154-pounds on Dec. 16, 1995 on FOX). It’s also just the second primetime boxing presentation on the CBS Television Network in nearly 40 years.

While Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman are joining a who’s who of legendary 147-pounders, their showdown also presents current implications in boxing’s glamour division. With the retirement of pound-for-pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather, Garcia and Thurman, both just 28 years old, meet with a chance to become the new face of the stacked 147-pound division, and perhaps earn a spot on the mythical pound-for-pound list.

More than 80 percent of the total punches landed by Garcia are power shots, putting his high-octane power punch output nearly 10 percent higher than the welterweight average.

Keith Thurman ranks No. 4 amongst all current boxers in percentage of power punches landed, connecting at 48.2 percent according to Compubox. That’s more than 10 percent better than the welterweight average.

Both fighters are young, hungry and undefeated. Their bout on March 4 is the quintessential career-defining fight. It is a chance for both to add to their growing legacy and potentially, ultimately, be forever linked with every boxing great in the coveted International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Note: Welterweight Unifications (9) In Boxing History

Jackie Fields (NBA) W DQ 2 Joe Dundee (World) 7-25-29
Sugar Ray Leonard (WBC) KO 14 Thomas Hearns (WBA) 9-16-81
Donald Curry (WBA, IBF) KO 3 Milton McCrory (WBA) 12-6-85
Simon Brown (IBF) KO 10 Maurice Blocker (WBC) 3-18-91
Felix Trinidad (IBF) W 12 Oscar De La Hoya (WBC) 9-18-99
Ricardo Mayorga (WBA) KO 3 Vernon Forrest (WBC) 1-25-03
Cory Spinks (IBF) W 12 Ricardo Mayorga (WBA, WBC) 12-13-03
Floyd Mayweather (WBC, WBA Super) W 12 Marcos Maidana (WBA) 5-3-14
Floyd Mayweather (WBC, WBA Super) Manny Pacquiao (WBO) 5-2-15

Note: Curry-McCrory and Trinidad-DLH were matchups of unbeatens.

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