AVILA RINGSIDE: In Primetime, Thurman Beats Guerrero, Broner UDs Molina

LAS VEGAS-Keith “One Time” Thurman walked in needing to prove himself against the elite competition and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero was eager to prove Thurman wasn’t ready. After 12 rounds and a knockdown Thurman showed he belongs on Saturday.

Not only did Thurman prove he belongs but his promotion company Premier Boxing Champions also showed it belongs, with a stage set-up that rivaled a blockbuster concert at the MGM Garden Arena. It was 50/50 on the entertainment value with Thurman’s fight living up to expectations and Broner’s fight not so much before 10,106 fans.

First let’s talk about the main event.

Thurman erupted from the sound of the bell. Guerrero was able to slip the first barrage but only because he’s in a different class. Thurman continued the aggressiveness and landed rights to the body and a counter right to the head.

Guerrero opened up in the second round with some blows to the body and a counter right hook that caught Thurman’s attention. Thurman finally rebounded with a counter right and was able to touch Guerrero in a close round.

A big welt emerged on Thurman’s head after they both collided inside. Guerrero scored with some left uppercuts and right hooks. Thurman landed a big right hand but neither fighter seemed hurt.

Thurman landed several big right hands in the fourth round. A big one landed flush but Guerrero seemed undisturbed by the impact.

After Thurman connected with a quick right lead, Guerrero stepped on the motor a bit and shot straight left hands back-to-back the connected well. A right hook also landed for the Gilroy fighter.

It was a big sixth round for Thurman who connected solidly with a one-two that seemed to stun Guerrero, though the Gilroy fighter counter attacked Thurman, finished the round and landed two big right hands.

Both fighters limited their punching in the seventh round, but Thurman used his jab to snap Guerrero’s head back twice in the round. Both fired simultaneously but neither was effective in the lackluster round.

Thurman lunged and connected with a right hand that seemed to clip Guerrero on the temple and down he went. He got up but a cut emerged on his left eye. It was the best round for Thurman.

Instead of taking advantage of a hurt Guerrero, Thurman decided to run around the ring and an eruption of boos from the crowd rained down. He scooted around the ring until the last 30 seconds and both fought inside for a short whole.

In the final round Thurman decided to play it safe and run around the ring. Guerrero was able to land some solid blows but not nearly enough to hurt Thurman, but enough to win the round. But at this point Thurman had a big enough lead to win the fight.

All three judges scored it 120-107, 118-109, 118-108 for Thurman.

“Robert Guerrero was a tremendous warrior, a veteran, a four time champ. I was able to knock him down late,” said Thurman. “I know I hurt him each and every round. It was a tremendous fight and a great learning experience.”

Guerrero was gracious in defeat.

“He came and he did his job I take my hat off to him. Now I know why they call him One Time. He hits hard,” said Guerrero. “I’m Mexican-American. I come to fight. I put my body and soul into this.”

Broner wins

The fleet Adrien Broner (30-1, 22 Kos) wouldn’t allow hammer fisted John Molina (27-6, 22 Kos) to duke it out and after a short blip in the third and fifth round, the Cincy fighter put it into cruise control to win by unanimous decision after 12 rounds.

Broner kept control in the first two rounds as both fighters seemed reluctant to launch the first blows. Jabs by Broner scored points in the lackluster rounds.

Round three saw Molina finally unload the bombs as Broner seemed a little surprised at the speed of the punches. Several appeared to get through but Broner was never hurt by any of the blows. It was Molina’s best round.

Broner regained control in the fourth round with precise jabs and occasional right hands. Molina waited for his opening but it never came.

Molina looked placid in the fifth as Broner stabbed those jabs through his guard. After some one-twos, Broner began to talk and Molina hit him with some solid overhand rights that seemed to surprise the Cincy fighter. That late eruption seemed to steal the round for Molina.

Broner regained the momentum with a brilliant three-punch combination in the sixth round. Molina returned with a counter right but was unable to land more than one blow from that point on as Broner hit and moved.

All three judges scored it for Broner 120-108 twice and 118-110.

According to CompuBox, Broner out-landed Molina 219 to 54 punches.

“I know I lived up to the hype. Even swinging for the fences the guy was dangerous,” said Broner. “John Molina, he’s a great fighter. He’s tough I had to be careful…even a vicious guy like John Molina I stayed right inside his reach and didn’t go nowhere.”

Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 Kos) won a lackluster fight against Mexico’s Arturo Reyes (18-5, 5 KOs) in a featherweight bout that seemed to entice half the audience to leave. After 10 rounds that included a knockdown by Mares in the second round, the three judges scored it for the Southern California featherweight 96-93, 98-97, 99-94.

Heavyweight hopeful Dominic Breazeale (14-0, 13 Kos) survived a first round knockdown and rallied from behind to drop Victor Bisbal (21-3, 15 Kos) in the third round with a left uppercut and right hand that left him hanging on the ropes with his back to Breazeale. The referee correctly ruled it a knockdown and Breazeale attacked but was stymied by Bisbal’s holding tactics. In the fourth round the left uppercut again caught Bisbal and a flurry of punches wobbled him again and forced the referee to stop the fight at 1:28 of the fourth round.

Prelims

A battle between Mexican featherweights took place with Guadalajara’s hard-hitting Jorge Lara (27-0-1, 19 Kos) wasting little time in pummeling Mexico City’s Mario Macias (25-15, 13 Kos). A left cross wobbled Macias then Lara immediately floored Macias with a right hook. Macias beat the count and was caught against the ropes where he absorbed six big blows. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight at 2:04 of the first round for a technical knockout for Lara.

San Antonio’s Mario Barrios (8-0, 4 Kos) used his height, reach, and power to dismantle Justin Lopez (5-3) of Michigan at 1:53 of the third round. A 14-punch barrage by Barrios forced referee Robert Byrd to stop the fight. Barrios had scored a knockdown in the second round.

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