Thurman vs. Porter Preview

By Robert Ecksel on June 22, 2016
Thurman vs. Porter Preview
“I'm not a big fan of what I call the Mayweather shadow.” (Amanda Wescott/Showtime)

Thurman and Porter are the real deal. Both men have power. Both men can fight. Both men are in their prime. Both men have liabilities and strengths…

Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in a fight televised live on CBS, WBA World welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs), the knockout artist from Clearwater, Florida, defends his title against former IBF World welterweight champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs), the dynamo from Las Vegas by way of Akron, Ohio.

The fight isn’t the most anticipated bout out there, but Thurman and Porter are the real deal. Both men have power. Both men can fight. Both men are in their prime. Both men have liabilities and strengths.

In anticipation of the event the fighters recently met with the press via teleconference call. They are articulate. They also are friends. But when the bell rings to commence hostilities, all bets are off.

“We do know each other very well,” said Thurman. “It has been a little while since we’ve seen each other. And we’ve never seen each other under the bright lights. I expect to see the Shawn Porter I know. To be really honest, there’s an extremely just super-cool factor that, you know, I remember this dude when he was a teenager. He remembers me when I was a teenager. We didn’t change up our game plan from the first training camp into this training camp. We stuck with the same game plan. You know, we gave ourselves enough time to get in shape. That was really the most important thing, to assess with my doctors how quickly I could recover and get back in the conditioning to be prepared for this fight.”

“It doesn’t matter that we’re friends,” said Porter. “We both have families to take care of, we both have legacies to build, careers to continue to progress on and goals to reach. I know Keith has that in him, and he knows damn well I have it in me. You see the respect, but also the fact that we want to beat each other to prove to ourselves, to everyone out there in the world. But I’m gunning for that championship belt. I’m coming for his head.”

Porter is an intuitive fighter. He can be wild and reckless, but he is persistent.

Thurman by contrast is a thinking man’s fighter. He relies on brain as much as brawn. He, like Porter, is always looking for the knockout. But he, unlike Porter, fights within himself and rarely takes chances.

“I’m all about being the guy that is considered the guy,” said Porter. “I’m all about being the number one. I love having all eyes on me. When I’m in the right, when I’m performing, when everyone’s watching, I want them to be watching me, watching and seeing what I’m doing and screaming my name. So I think knowing what Keith has done and him being the champion, when you beat a champion, you take the belt, that’s how you form your legacy. You don’t form your legacy from beating C-level fighters, B-level fighters. You beat those A-plus fighters and you take their belts. That’s how you establish your greatness. We both have the attitude for it. We both have the physicality and athleticism to be that number one guy. It’s just a matter of me getting in there and doing what I got to do.”

With Mayweather and Pacquiao no longer fighting, at least until further notice, those with royalty on the brain are eager to crown a new king of the welterweight division.

But Keith Thurman isn’t buying it.

“Everyone is talking about the new king, the new king, the new king, the new king,” said Thurman. “It’s not like there was a successor lined up waiting. There’s work to do. Mayweather is gone. Pacquiao is gone. I’m not a big fan of what I call the Mayweather shadow. Mayweather’s legacy has casted a shadow over the 147-pound division. Mayweather was at the top for over a decade, and you want somebody to replace him but it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s really going to take almost another decade. You need to really see who’s going to be the top dog for the next three to five years. We are the next generation in my opinion. The young generation has got a lot of work to do before there’s a king involved on top of any of our names. But I look forward to the journey and the process.”

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ALL ACCESS: Thurman vs. Porter - Part One | 4-Part Digital Series

ALL ACCESS: Thurman vs. Porter - Part Two | 4-Part Digital Series

ALL ACCESS: Thurman vs. Porter - Part Three | 4-Part Digital Series

ALL ACCESS: Thurman vs. Porter - Part Four | 4-Part Digital Series

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  1. Anonymous 10:15am, 06/23/2016

    Depends on which Porter shows up and also, if he can get to Thurman’s body. Collazo exposed Thurman’s weakness and Collazo is no Porter.

    As an aside, let’s hope Thurman dispenses with his weeping at the mention of his dead trainer and also save the Zen crap for those who go ummmmmm.

  2. Old Yank 07:41am, 06/23/2016

    What’s not to like about these two guys? In every sense of the cliché they walk the walk. But they are not equals. Kell Brook’s side to side movement (and speed and ...) exposed the inefficiency of Porter—exposing him as a fighter chasing an opponent around the ring rather than cutting off the ring. Keith Thurman is no Kell Brook, but he can mimic Brook’s side to side movement. I think Thurman can frustrate Porter into chasing him around—causing Porter to lunge and take unnecessary chances. My prediction is that the fight goes the distance in a bout that’s less exciting than fans are generally predicting.

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