Through nine rounds of their 147-pound showdown in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions’ debut on March 7, Keith Thurman dominated Robert Guerrero. Defeat seemed all but inevitable for “The Ghost,” who bled from a cut above his left eye as a result of Thurman’s nonstop battering.
In the ninth, Keith Thurman put Robert Guerrero on the canvas for the first time in his career with a right uppercut straight to the temple. He then went for the kill, hammering away at Guerrero, who survived only with help from the bell.
In the corner between rounds, trainer Dan Birmingham told Thurman, “He’s hurt. He can’t recover from that.”
The 10th started like the previous nine, with Thurman in control, landing the better shots. But 30 seconds in, Guerrero got a breather when the referee ordered his gloves to be re-taped. The break did The Ghost a world of good.
When the action resumed, Thurman landed a stiff right, which seemed only to wake Guerrero. The former two-division champion came in and waded through some more punishment to get to Thurman, pinning him first on the ropes and then in the corner while delivering a steady diet of body shots that brought the crowd to its feet in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Thurman went back to the uppercut and Guerrero responded in kind as a war broke out in the trenches. Every right Thurman threw was met by a left from Guerrero. The Ghost served notice that, while he might have been hurt, he wasn’t going out.
Guerrero took the round on two of three cards—the only other round he won in the fight.