A big night of boxing is highlighted by a championship fight in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday night. Defending his WBA welterweight title against Shawn Porter at Barclays Center, Keith Thurman continues his quest to be recognized as one of the sport’s brightest stars.
Thurman enters the fight undefeated with a career record of 26-0. The 27-year-old hasn’t fought in over a year, beating Luis Collazo last July when the bout was stopped one second into the eighth round. With a victory this weekend, Thurman believes he can establish himself as a top welterweight.
“The stage has been my set and now it’s my job to solidify my place,” Thurman said via The Los Angeles Times. “A KO victory puts a star or two on top of it, but nothing’s solidified now, with Kell Brook and Danny Garcia as undefeated champions. We’re going to have to fight it out.”
Thurman’s credentials are impressive, with 22 victories coming by way of knockout. But as he continues to face tougher opponents, his “One Time” nickname hasn’t exactly rung true. Prior to beating Collazo, Thurman needed 12 rounds to defeat both Leonard Bundu and Robert Guerrero. Three of his last seven fights have gone the distance, and winning by knockout won’t be an easy task as he faces perhaps his toughest test to date.
Porter (26-1-1) suffered his lone defeat to unbeaten Kell Brook in a majority decision. Porter, 28, has wins over the likes of Devon Alexander, Paulie Malignaggi, and most recently Adrien Broner. The Ohio native is an aggressive fighter who is prone to swing wildly, but also has fast feet, a very good chin and should remain effective in the late rounds.
"I have faced a tougher opposition than Keith Thurman," Porter said via FightHype.com. "I feel like that may work most to my advantage. I think that there will come points in this fight where I will put him up against things that he has never been up against. It is all about how he reacts to what I throw at him."
Thurman was hurt by Collazo before a cut near his eye stopped the fight, and there is some concern about his chin when he faces tougher opponents. Porter has the tools to hand Thurman his first loss, and has the grit to exchange power punches.
But Thurman is the favorite because of his offensive prowess, and while he might not land that one punch to end the fight early, he should land enough power shots to take the majority of the rounds and win on points.
Bovada.lv gives Thurman -240 betting odds, and Porter is a +190 underdog.
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Prediction: Thurman by unanimous decision