Thurman outpoints Porter in thriller
Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) outpointed fellow American Shawn Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs) to retain his WBA welterweight title on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
In a fight of the year candidate, Thurman used his boxing skills and landed the cleaner shots as all three judges awarded him a unanimous decision by scores of 115-113.
The fight began with both fighters on the offensive. Thurman landed a clean right midway through the first round. Porter pinned Thurman against the ropes in the second, landing lefts and rights while Thurman did his best to cover up.
Thurman rocked Porter with more hard right hands in the third. Porter responded with some good shots of his own.
Thurman unloaded a series of solid punches that hurt Porter in the fourth and cut him over his left eye.
Porter fought back well in the following rounds, attempting to get close and maul Thurman against the ropes as Thurman tried to create distance and use his jab.
Porter hurt Thurman with a left hook to the body late in the eighth and a clash of heads opened a cut over Thurman’s right eye in the ninth as both men exchanged punches in one of the most eventful rounds of the fight.
Thurman staggered Porter with a left hook in the 10th but Porter recovered and fired back.
They continued to trade big blows until the final bell, and the fight ended with the crowd on its feet.
Thurman said: "I want to thank Shawn Porter for a tremendous fight, he’s a great warrior. Defence is the key to victory. He smothers his punches a lot and makes it difficult for the judges to score. I was able to rock him with clear, effective blows and I believe that was the difference today. It’s all about defence. I had a great defence today."
Porter said: "At the end of the day, I’m blessed. We worked hard. Keith is a great champion. My dad says to keep your head up. I think I won the fight, but I’m satisfied because the competitor came out tonight. We need that rematch. I know the fans want that rematch."