Thurman ponders what’s next after triumph over Porter

Keith Thurman is plotting his next move in the wake of Saturday’s hard-fought victory over former champion Shawn Porter at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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Thurman vs Porter highlights: June 25, 2016

“There’s a new generation of young, hungry [147-pound] fighters, and your boy ‘One Time’ is right here at the front, ready to go,” the 27-year-old Thurman said in the post-fight news conference. “I’m a true fighter. … I’ve got an ‘0,’ and I’m not afraid to let it go. If you can beat me, beat me.”

Before a spirited crowd of 12,718—the second largest to attend a boxing match at Barclays Center—Keith “One Time” Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) defended his 147-pound title for a third time with a unanimous decision over “Showtime” Shawn Porter (26-2, 16 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 115-113.

With the victory, Thurman becomes the face of a deep and talented division following the alleged retirements of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

Thurman is one of three undefeated 147-pound world champions along with Danny Garcia and Kell Brook, the latter of whom is finalizing terms for a unification bout with the division's other titleholder, once-beaten Jessie Vargas.

The weight class also features top contenders such as former champions Porter, Amir Khan, Andre Berto and Timothy Bradley Jr., as well as undefeated southpaw Errol Spence Jr. and David Avanesyan.

Avanesyan, a 27-year-old Russian who is 22-1-1 with 11 KOs, is now the mandatory challenger to Thurman’s title.

“If I have to, I’ll take this mandatory, but in my heart, I want Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia,” Thurman says. “There’s [also] definitely the potential for a rematch [with Porter]. There were several things I could have done to create that KO victory. If the rematch comes, maybe we’ll get [the knockout].”

I don’t want pay-per-view. I don’t want you to pay for this entertainment. I’m not trying to gouge the American public. Keith Thurman, 147-pound world champion

The Thurman-Porter clash—which was the first prime-time fight on CBS since Muhammad Ali’s stunning split-decision loss to Leon Spinks in February 1978—was the most-watched fight of 2016, attracting an average of 3.1 million viewers and peaking at 3.94 million.

Thurman said he was ecstatic to fight on network television, making him an anomaly in an era when boxers long for an opportunity to hit the jackpot by fighting on pay-per-view.

“Let’s bring boxing back to prime time and the people. I don’t want pay-per-view. I don’t want you to pay for this entertainment,” Thurman said. “I’m not trying to gouge the American public. I want … everybody to have a chance to witness ‘One Time,’ and I want boxing to come back to the forefront of network television.”

Porter, who is guided by his father, Kenny, became the second patriarch-trained former champion to fall to Thurman, joining Robert Guerrero, whom Thurman floored in the ninth round of a unanimous decision win in March 2015. Thurman would face his third father-son duo if he got in the ring with Garcia, who is trained by his dad, Angel.

“I’m taking care of these father-son combinations,” Thurman said.

As for Shawn Porter, he expressed disappointment that he was on the wrong end of a close decision for the second time in his career—he dropped a majority decision to Kell Brook in August 2014. However, he took solace from the thousands of fans who booed the decision as it was announced, as well as those in the media who gave him props for his performance.

“Losing is never acceptable, per se, [but] to see the impression that I made on the public and the boxing writers makes handling it a little easier,” said Porter, 28. “I’m honored and blessed to be in that position. I gave it all that I had, and people respect that about me.”

And that includes his old pal, Thurman.

“Shawn Porter’s not No. 1 in the world or No. 2 in the world, but he’s an exciting fighter in the welterweight division,” Thurman said. “He came to fight, and he’s still valuable and has a marquee name.”

For all pre- and post-fight coverage of Thurman vs Porter, visit our fight page.

Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter

Old friends Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter went at each other for 12 scintillating rounds Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York, with Thurman's power shots paving the way to a slim unanimous decision victory. (Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions)

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