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Clearwater’s Keith Thurman seeks to add another belt tonight

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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.

Again.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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