Keith Thurman retains welterweight title with close decision over Shawn Porter

Keith Thurman

Keith Thurman/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

Welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman on Saturday night slugged it out with challenger Shawn Porter over 12 rounds and when the grueling bout was over Thurman had retained his title with a close, yet unanimous decision at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The fight was televised on CBS.

Thurman (27-0) won by three scores of 115-113, which seemed to be the right call. Both fighters had outstanding moments. Thurman just seemed to have more.

The action was terrific and could be in the mix for Fight of the Year, though we have still have six months left of 2016.

There were no knockdowns, but both fighters were cut.

The bout was originally to take place in March, but Thurman was in a car accident, in which he sustained whiplash.

:Porter is 26-2-1.

 

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Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns anticipate Thurman-Porter showdown

Sugar Ray Leonard (L) in action vs Thomas Hearns during fight at Sports Pavilion of Caesars Palace. Neil Leifer
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Thomas Hearns, right, throws a body punch at Sugar Ray Leonard during their September 1981 fight in Las Vegas/File photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns were in a few big fights of their own. The first of two they had against one another – in September 1981 outdoors at Caesars Palace – was a classic as Leonard came from behind to stop Hearns in the 14th round of their welterweight title fight.

This Saturday’s welterweight title fight between champion Keith “One Time” Thurman and Shawn Porter at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS) isn’t as anticipated as Leonard-Hearns, but Leonard and Hearns themselves can’t wait to see it.

“Just the heart of Keith and Shawn,” Leonard said, when asked what excites him most about this fight. “Both of these guys have heart and both have that will. That composure. You can’t teach composure. It’s something that you either have or you don’t. You can’t learn that. That deep, deep composure when your left eye is closed and your liver is busted and you got to get up (off) the canvas.”

Hearns intimated it could be an early exit for someone.

“I know Thurman and Porter have the ability to get each other out of there,” he said. “It’s going to be a matter of who gets to who first. I’m definitely watching. I hope to be there in person.”

Thurman, 27, is 26-0 with 22 knockouts. Porter, 27, is 26-1-1 with 16 knockouts.

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Keith Thurman recovered from his whiplash in a careful manner

Keith Thurman
Keith Thurman/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions
Keith “One Time” Thurman was supposed to defend his welterweight title against Shawn Porter on March 12, but Thurman was involved in a car accident that apparently was caused when Thurman’s new car began to hydroplane in wet conditions in his native Clearwater, Fla.
Thurman is healthy again, but he had to go about his rehabilitation for the whiplash he sustained in a careful manner.
“It’s six weeks before I could go back to the gym,” said Thurman, who will tangle with Porter on June 25 in the main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS). “And then, we just had to take it (in) increments as far as recovering, as far as working hard.
“Didn’t want to push my body too hard right away. Didn’t want to re-aggravate anything. Just listened to my doctors, stay doing my regular checkup routines. And we’re good to go.”
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Medical condition will prevent Abner Mares from fighting Jesus Cuellar

Abner Mares

Abner Mares/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens was really looking forward to his challenge to featherweight world champion Jesus Cuellar of Argentina. They were to tangle June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the undercard of the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter welterweight title fight (on CBS).

However, the bout was canceled Friday because Mares has an unspecified medical condition that will prevent him from fighting in the state of New York. DiBella Entertainment is the promoter for the Premier Boxing Champions presentation and it sent out a statement informing the media of the situation, while also making sure we knew that this medical condition is not life-threatening, nor does it have anything to do with performance-enhancing drugs.

The main event between Thurman and Porter will go on as scheduled and the Mares-Cuellar TV spot will be taken by another fight.

Mares has won titles in three weight classes.

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Staying true to his credo, Abner Mares in for a tough fight with Jesus Cuellar

Abner Mares

Abner Mares/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens has lost only two fights during what has been a fine career that has seen him win world titles in three weight classes. Those two losses – to Jhonny Gonzalez and Leo Santa Cruz – have come in his past five fights. Mares lost a majority decision to Santa Cruz this past August in a battle for a vacant featherweight world title.

That doesn’t mean Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) wants a soft touch so he can get back into the win column. One look at Mares’ ring record and one knows that’s not Mares. It’s therefore no surprise that Mares will next be challenging Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) of Argentina for his featherweight title June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS).

Mares only wants the hard fights.

“Definitely, definitely,” said Mares, 30. “It will grab people’s attention and that’s the key point I want to make. I’m the type of fighter that wants to leave his career known as the fighter that never took an easy route and faced the tough fighters at their moment, at their times. And God willing, always came out on top. It’s not always going to be the same as my last fight. It was a great fight, a fight against Leo that I didn’t win, but I got the respect from people.”

Mares and Cuellar will tangle underneath the welterweight title fight between Keith “One Time” Thurman and Shawn Porter.

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Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman grew up wanting to be a knockout artist

Keith Thurman

Keith Thurman/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Although two of his past three fights have gone the distance, welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman is known as a fighter who can knock out any opponent, what with his record of 26-0 and 22 knockouts.

It’s what he wanted to be able to do when he grew up taking apart older boxers.

“I’ve always considered myself a knockout artist, back to when I was a teenager knocking out grown men in headgear,” said Thurman, who will defend his title June 25 when he takes on Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS). “Ever since then, I’ve been dropping people like a bad habit.”

Stopping opponents inside the distance is what Thurman lives for, so it’s not surprising to find out the name of his boxing idol.

 “I love being a power-puncher,” said Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla. “My favorite fighter of all time is Mike Tyson. One of my goals that I set when I was a kid was to have more knockouts than Mike Tyson throughout my career.”
Tyson had 44 knockouts, so Thurman is halfway there.
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Shawn Porter has a plan, but can he execute it against Keith Thurman?

Shawn Porter

Shawn Porter/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Shawn Porter has a plan. Executing it against the likes of Keith “One Time” Thurman won’t be easy, though. The two will square off June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn for Thurman’s welterweight world title (on CBS).

“I want to win each and every round,” said Porter, a former champion. “We want to make him have to adjust to what we’re doing. If we control the fight, we win the fight.

“I’ve always been taught to control everything in a fight. I can’t allow him to slow the tempo down. But I’m definitely not going to rush. I have the skills to execute the game plan.”

Porter believes his work in the gym will help him get what would be the biggest victory of his career.

“I think the difference is in my preparation,” Porter said. “I have a great team to match my great skills. We’re going to shock the world.”

Porter won a welterweight world title with a unanimous decision over Devon Alexander in December 2013. Porter made one successful defense before losing his belt to Kell Brook via majority decision in August 2014.

Porter, 28, is from Akron, Ohio. He is 26-1-1 with 16 knockouts.

Thurman, 27, is from Clearwater, Fla. He is 26-0 with 22 knockouts.

 

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Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman has plenty for which to be thankful in 20th year

Keith Thurman

Keith Thurman/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Keith “One Time” Thurman has been a prize-fighter for some 8 1/2 years, but this is his 20th year in the game after taking up the sweet science at age 7 as part of an after-school program.

Thurman has plenty for which to be thankful, and he spoke about that this week as he continued preparation for his welterweight title defense against Shawn Porter on June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS).

“It’s been an amazing journey and no one predicted this better than my first coach Ben Getty,” Thurman, 27, said. “It puts me in a state of gratitude for Ben. He told everyone I’d be world champ, and here I am, defending my title against Shawn Porter. I am just starting to see what Ben Getty saw in me and the mark that I can make in boxing.”

Thurman, who is now trained by Dan Birmingham and assistant Chris Getty – Ben Getty’s son – is 26-0 with 22 knockouts. He won the interim title in July 2013 with a 10th-round knockout of Diego Gabriel Chaves in July 2013 and became full champion with a wide unanimous decision over Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in March 2015; Thurman has made one successful defense.

The fight with Guerrero was only the fourth time Thurman had been taken the distance. He takes pride in his knockout ratio of 81 percent.

“My goal is to be known as the hardest-hitting welterweight in the division,” said Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla. “This camp, if anything, I feel more comfortable. I’m fully recovered, sparring, training. I’ve been throwing power punches for what seems like forever and it’s a little weird. I can’t help but think about how this is my 20th year in boxing and knowing the longevity I’ve had. It’s given me a new confidence.”

Thurman and Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) were to fight in March, but Thurman sustained whiplash in a February car crash and the fight was postponed.

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After a great ride, it’s time for ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley to hang up gloves

David Avanesyan vs. Shane Mosley: Winner, Scorecard and Reaction

“Sugar” Shane Mosley and David Avanesyan face off ahead of their fight Saturday, won by Avanesyan via unanimous decision/AP photo by Ross D. Franklin

 

When you consider “Sugar” Shane Mosley is 44, he looked good Saturday during his 12-round unaimous-decision loss to David Avanesyan of Russia at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. The very idea that a man Mosley’s age could give a respectable account of himself against a fighter 17 years his junior, was impressive.

But in talking to Mosley a couple of days before the fight, he wasn’t still fighting so he could have people say he looked good for an old man. He said he was still active because of his love for the sport and because he thought he was still good enough to win at the top level.

Well, even though Avanesyan came in with an interim welterweight title, he did not come into the fight with an impressive list of opponents and he had never fought in the U.S. As the interim champion, he is in line to face the June 25 winner of the fight between full champion Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Avanesyan would seem to have little change against either man.

The point is, if Mosley can’t beat Avanesyan, he should hang up his gloves once and for all. Mosley has had a great career. He will be in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It’s been a great ride.

 

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Friday’s weigh-in for Shawn Porter and Kell Brook open to public

Image

Porter vs Brook

Graphic courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

Friday’s weigh-in for Saturday’s Golden Boy Promotions card featuring Shawn Porter defending his welterweight title against Kell Brook at StubHub Center in Carson (on Showtime) will be open to the public. It will begin at 1 p.m. at the Northwest tennis pad at StubHub.

Porter, of Akron, Ohio, is one of the more exciting new rising stars in the game. He is 24-0-1 with 15 knockouts and will be looking to make his second successful defense. Porter is just 26.

Brook, of England, is 28. He is 32-0 with 22 knockouts. But he has his work cut out for him against Porter, a vicious seek-and-destroy fighter.

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