–Keith Thurman landed two first-round left hooks around a pair of hard right hands, but in Rounds 2 and 3, a swarming Shawn Porter twice trapped the champ, working feverishly to the head and body.
–Thurman unleashed from distance in the middle of the ring during most of the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, at one point rocking Porter with a left hook in Round 4. Undeterred, though, Porter frequently trapped Thurman on the ropes, backing him up with a body-rippling eighth-round left hook to the liver.
–Thurman wobbled and nearly dropped Porter with a 10th-round left hook and nailed him with another head-swiveling shot in the 11th before being outmuscled on the ropes for much of the final round.
Prior to his title defense against Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman called the bout “a steppingstone” toward becoming the new face of the 147-pound division following the retirements of legends Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
The champion nicknamed “One Time” took a major leap in that direction—although it was far from easy.
In a crowd-pleasing, blood-and-guts brawl, Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) overcame the bullish Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs) to eke out a unanimous decision before a crowd of 12,718 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. All three judges scored the contest 115-113.
The fight was expected to be a high-caliber war of skills and wills, and it was just that, as Thurman attempted to use upper-body movement, stay off ropes, clinch, and catch Porter ducking into hooks and uppercuts. At the same time, the 28-year-old challenger often effectively executed his short inside game, closing distance and occasionally smothering and battering Thurman to the ropes.
In an active opening round, Thurman landed an early hook, two rights and another hook late, but the swarming Porter came on in the second, twice trapping Thurman on the ropes and drilling home double-handed shots to the head and body.
Thurman stunned Porter with a clean right hand-left hook combination late in the third, but the challenger answered with a three-punch combination before the bell.
In Rounds 4 through 6, Thurman unleashed from distance, occasionally catching Porter ducking into left hooks, one of which rocked the challenger in the fourth. But an undeterred Porter continued to come forward, continuing to push his 27-year-old foe into the ropes, where he let loose with a double-handed attack to the head and the body.
Thurman dominated most of Round 7, absorbing a hard right but controlling the remainder of the stanza with jabs, hooks and rights against the retreating Porter. But in keeping with the give-and-take nature of the entire bout, the challenger made Thurman double over with a body-rippling left hook to the liver before the bell.
Although both fighters bled from cuts around their eyes in the later rounds—Porter beneath his left, Thurman over his right—both continued to throw and absorb big bombs, including a 10th-round left hook that nearly dropped Porter.
Thurman found the mark yet again in the 11th, landing an even more vicious, head-swiveling hook. But, again, Porter took it and responded with his own attack, appearing to mostly out-hustle and out-muscle the champ during most of the final round.
Underscoring how competitive this long-anticipated fight was, Porter had the slightest of edges in overall punches landed (236-235), but Thurman connected on more power shots (203-177). The longtime friends combined to fire more than 1,200 punches at each other, the overwhelming majority thrown with bad intentions.
- Thurman vs Porter