(AllHipHop Lifestyle) The welterweight world title showdown between the two undefeated 147-pound titlists goes down tonight on CBS in partnership with Showtime Boxing. The 12-round bout starts at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Thurman, who some predict may win, didn’t sound like the favorite in an interview with AllHipHop.
“I just let myself be a trapped animal, man. I just stay in my own mind. Stay real focused on my own grind. every single time I step in the ring, I’m facing a man that’s trying to keep me away from my dream. There’s no way on any cellular level that my body feels comfortable with that,” Thurman said.
“You are in front of me and for me to do what I’ve always wanted to do, all I gotta do is take care of you. OK? Just imagine, all you dreams can come true, but you just gotta put hands on this one person over there. And all his dreams can come true, but he’s just gotta put hands on you. Whatever that dream is….Just imagine that it can be accomplished. You just gotta mess this boy up real quick. That’s how I think about this fight game. Its you. You are stopping me from being the best me I can be. You think I’m gonna let you stop that? That’s who Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is.”
Garcia, a Philadelphia native, reveled in the notion that he isn’t expected to win.
“I’ve been the underdog before. All ‘underdog’ means is that there are a whole bunch of people who don’t know what I can do,” Garcia said. “I rise to the occasion every time. I win because I’m better. On Saturday night I’m going to prove it again.”
Both men are undefeated and, barring a draw, one of them will experience defeat for the first time.
Thurman: “I’ve got an ‘0’ and I’m not afraid to let it go. If you can beat me, beat me. That’s because every time I step into the ring, I put my best foot forward. I’m gonna fight with all my gut, because I’m coming for the glory!” Thurman stated. “So, if you can beat me, beat me. I will shake your hand. ‘Congratulations, you just beat a real warrior. You beat a dog.’”
Garcia: ”I fight to win. I fight to secure my family’s future and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we train so hard for. I’m going to give the fans something to watch on Saturday. Legacy is very important to me. I have more milestones than Thurman. This is his biggest fight. I’ve been in big fights before. Every championship fight is a part of history.”
A fight of this caliber is almost always a pay per view event, but DiBella Entertainment and Premier Boxing Champions were able to bring it to the people for free on CBS. Thurman said it is the right move to reinvigorate the boxing base.
“Its time that boxing returns to the people. There was a time that – and everybody understands how pay per view makes money – but when it comes to the sport and getting that recognition, boxing needs to return to the people. The American people are spoiled when it comes to sports and entertainment,” the Florida native said. “You get to see the Super Bowl for free. You get to see the Final Four. You get to see tennis and Serena Williams. You get to see Tiger Woods (in golf). You get to see the Olympics (for Free).
“On March 4th, you get to see Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia – both undefeated champions, 28 years old, in their prime. Ready to go down and lay their titles on the line – for the fight fans. Its a great thing for the sport of boxing and its ultimately, its a great sporting event in America. You don’t get these sporting events in boxing. This is what boxing should be about.”
Chuck Creekmur contributed to this story.
Main photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME (Used by permission)