Keith Thurman’s defining moments were threefold in his punishing 12-round victory over Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
First, he overcame a grotesque hematoma on his forehead above his left eye that resulted from an accidental clash of heads early in the fight.
Then he floored Guerrero in the ninth before surviving a vicious 10th-round exchange on the way to winning a unanimous decision.
Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) defeated Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs) by scores of 120-107, 118-108 and 118-109 on the judges’ cards.
Thurman failed to make good on his goal to become the first man ever to knock out the man whose last name means "warrior" in Spanish, but he did provide plenty of thrills in an early contender for Fight of the Year honors.