Keith Thurman's three best performances
By Hector Franco
Were are now less than a week away from the highly anticipated welterweight fight between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. The bout was originally supposed to take place in March in Connecticut. It was postponed, because of an injury suffered by Thurman in a car accident when the airbags were deployed. Since the bout was rescheduled fans have debated over who they feel will win. Fans will point to the styles of both men and the competition each man has faced. In bouts, where both men are top-level it may be about who can take a punch better than the other. A perfect example may be the middleweight bout between Julian Jackson and Gerald McClellan that took place in the early 90’s.
Keith Thurman is without question the bigger puncher going into his fight with Shawn Porter. Looking back at some of Thurman’s best performances we can see why many fans would favor the Floridian to win. Not only does Thurman carry a hard punch with both hands, but he also has the ability to fight off the back foot while throwing power punches in combination. This could spell trouble for a fighter like Shawn Porter who relies on outworking their opponents while coming forward with pressure. Let’s take a look back at three of Keith Thurman’s best performances going into his fight with Shawn Porter.
07-27-2013, San Antonio, Texas
This bout was for the interim WBA welterweight title. It was part of a card called Knockout Kings that also featured the bout between Andre Berto and Jesus Soto Karass in the main event. Diego Chaves before the fight with Thurman was an unknown fighter from Argentina. Unlike his fellow Argentinean welterweight countrymen Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, Chaves was able to box and counter punch. The fight itself was competitive throughout. Chaves gave Thurman trouble with an onslaught of body shots. The Chaves fight for Thurman was a turning point in his career. It was the first highly competitive match in his career where during the bout it was unclear if Thurman would win. Thurman persevered and stopped Chaves in the 10th round with a body punch of his own. In the Chaves fight, Thurman displayed an ability to adjust to an opponent and still deliver a knockout. Since then Chaves has only had two major appearances against Timothy Bradley and Brandon Rios with mixed results. Since the Bradley fight, Chaves has yet to step back in the ring. Against Chaves, Thurman showed he could take some punishment as well as dish it out.
12-14-2013, San Antonio, Texas
Jesus Soto Karass
Once again on the undercard of a big match in Texas, Keith Thurman defended his interim title against longtime, contender and welterweight gatekeeper, Jesus Soto Karass. It took place at the Alamodome with Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana as the main event. Needless to say an intense and pro-latino crowd in attendance. Thurman learned a lesson quickly in this fight. Don’t brawl with a brawler. In the first minute of the first round, Karass landed a hard overhand right that knocked Thurman back into the ropes. Thurman looked the most hurt he had in his entire career. Afterwards, Thurman would go on to dominate the fight as his movement and ability to throw power punches in combination disrupted any attack Karass tried to put forth. The end came in the 9th with a Thurman combination that froze Karass in his tracks. It is still to this day arguably Thurman’s most impressive knockout. If he scores a similar knockout against Shawn Porter, it would elevate Thurman as the best welterweight in the division.
March 7, 2015, Las Vegas, Nevada
In January 2015, Thurman’s interim WBA title was elevated to regular status. It came at the right time as he was scheduled to take on the most high-profile opponent of his career in Robert Guerrero. The fight was important to Thurman on two fronts. The first, being that Guerrero would give him a common opponent with Floyd Mayweather. The second reason is that it would be the main event of the PBC’s first major show on NBC prime time. Thurman was able to deliver on his first major main event slot. Thurman was aggressive throughout the fight. He dominated Guerrero and landed punches in combination almost at will. The Floridian even knocked Guerrero down in the 9th round. After the knockdown, Guerrero got up and fought with more determination as he went after Thurman and landed some shots against the ropes. Guerrero showed that he might have the best chin in the welterweight division against Thurman. Although Thurman was dominant for most of the contest he was pushed against Guerrero. He even suffered a nasty hematoma in the fight. Thurman ended up winning a unanimous decision.
Next Saturday, Keith Thurman will once again be the main event on a high profile show. It will be the first boxing show on CBS prime time since Muhammad Ali took on Leon Spinks in 1978. Thurman has the opportunity to show against Porter he is the best welterweight in the world. It will put him on the biggest stage of his career against the best opponent he has faced. Fans will find out who’s time it is on Saturday.
Video by YouTube channel, KNOCKOUT EXTRA
(Featured Photo: Andrew Cleary/ Round by Round Boxing)