Thurman-Porter Fight Preview and Predictions
By Hector Franco
Tomorrow night we will finally witness the return of both Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter inside a boxing ring. Fans are in anticipation of getting an answer as to who is the best welterweight in the world. Since last May’s business transaction between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, fans have been waiting for someone to step up to the plate. Instead, what has happened is an unprecedented amount of inactivity. Fighters who are in their prime have been relegated to the sidelines by either a lack of desire to compete or a lack of availability of television dates. Fighters in the PBC have gotten paid well, but their stock in the market hasn’t gone up. They don’t fight often enough. When fighters don’t fight, they not only lose fans, but they also run the risk of being less than sharp when it comes time to step back in the ring. The question now is are we getting the best possible versions of these fighters come fight night? Steel sharpens steel and being off for 12 and 11 months like Thurman and Porter have can have its consequences.
Going into this bout many are favoring Thurman to win by either knockout or decision. Playing a huge factor in this choice is the visual of having seen Kell Brook win a clear decision over Porter two years ago. On the other hand, Porter was never hurt in his bout with Brook. The same can’t be said for Thurman in his last outing. Thurman faced Luis Collazo in Tampa, FL where he was caught with a debilitating body shot that if followed up on correctly could have been the end for the Floridian. He was also stunned in the first round against Jesus Soto Karass. For this reason, many feel that Porter only has a punchers chance.
This fight will be about more than punching power. It will be about footwork. Kell Brook was able to hold Porter when he came on the inside. Thurman won’t have as much luck. In my view, Thurman only has a chance to win this bout in the early rounds by landing something big. If Thurman, doesn’t stop Porter early, Porter will outbox and outwork Thurman to a clear decision victory.
This is honestly one of the closest matchups I have ever seen. Yes, most people might be giving the edge to Keith Thurman because of his undefeated record and his explosive knockout power, however, Shawn Porter arguably knows him better than anyone in the sport. Both came up together in the armatures and have seen, and still continue to witness each other develop over their respective careers. I give Porter the slight advantage in speed in this bout and feel he needs to heavily utilize this in order to secure the win. Thurman will, of course, be looking for the “One Time” shot that will end Porter’s night. Hopefully, both fighters don’t become gun shy because of the mutual respect. Porter by split decision
Boxing is called the sweet science for a reason. The calculating movement to move outside an attack only to counter with a stronger attack based on footwork and reaction time takes years of training to master and execute. Than there are fighters that can attack with pressure, provided they have the time and cardio to rush in and execute that type of onslaught in the fight game. However, the latter style has limits and can fall victim to the former style. That's what I see happening in the case of Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter, Thurman having grasped what the sweet science is and Porter being the pressure fighter. I think Thurman's range and counter punching, mostly with his lead/left jab and hook will allow him to earn a stoppage over Porter if the fight goes a few rounds.
Keith Thurman possesses everything you need to be a great fighter. He has very high boxing IQ to go along with his incredible athletic ability and in my opinion he is the biggest puncher in the welterweight division. Shawn Porter is a guy who is physically strong, brings a lot of pressure and he is always in shape making him a difficult fight for anyone. He likes to grind out wins and outworks his opponents. The fight is a great match-up between bull and matador and I think the difference will be the punching power and boxing ability of Thurman. Porter has a tendency to come in with his head down to get inside and once there he smothers his own work. Thurman will be waiting for him when he moves in and for this reason I am picking Keith Thurman via stoppage.
Thurman KO by 8
(Featured Photo: Marilyn Paulino)