Keith Thurman retained his WBA title with a split-decision win over Danny Garcia on Saturday. The welterweights threw more than 1,000 punches combined, but in the end, Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) got the win.
“I feel like it was a 12-round battle,” Thurman said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “At the end of the day, you take a lot of punches on the arms, on the shoulders, here and there. But I feel good. Every night of rest you feel better and better. That’s the life of a fighter. Nothing out of the ordinary. I think I took less damage (than) the last fight. I planned on doing that as well. I wanted to win in a larger margin. I kind of feel like I did, but one judge saw it differently. But it was a real good fight. I enjoyed the challenge of Danny Garcia.”
Thurman fared well in the early rounds but took his foot off the gas as the fight wore on. He admitted as much, but said he and his corner knew they “were winning the fight.”
The 28-year-old Clearwater native does not regret his strategy.
“Nah, we won the fight,” he said. “At the end of the day, you can look at it like a race. You start off and you get a lead on the person, so you know you don’t have to kick as hard as he needs to kick right now. So you let him kick, but you stay kicking, and at the end of the day, time runs up and you stay ahead the whole time. He never caught up. He never caught up. He was never fully in the fight because we took the fight from him in the beginning.”
Saturday marked the first loss of Garcia’s career, as the 28-year-old Philadelphia native fell to 33-1. Doug Gottlieb wondered if there will be a rematch.
“I mean, that’s fine,” Thurman said. “I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t have a problem if he wants to come back and try to take it back. He accepted the challenge and now if he has a challenge for me, I’ll take his challenge. It is what it is.”