Thurman-Porter: When Was The Last Time We Saw All That?

Thurman-Porter – This past weekend WBA welterweight title-holder Keith Thurman 27-0 (22) won a unanimous 12-round decision over top contender Shawn Porter 26-2-1 (16) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  As most know I loved this match-up from the very second it was made. In my view Thurman-Porter represented everything that is, or at least could be, good about professional boxing at its highest level. And based on the result, I was right. Thurman-Porter as of June 2016 is no doubt the fight of the year. The bout was nothing but sustained action for 12 rounds with each combatant trying to impose his will and style on the other. When it was over Thurman kept his title by the scores of 115-113 by all three judges, which translates to him winning seven rounds to five, which is the score I tabulated while watching the fight live and in the moment.

Back in January when the bout was first signed I wrote…”Boxing is a sport that is only exciting and fun to watch when it features competitive and give-and-take match-ups. When those dynamics are in play, it’s the greatest sport in the world. However, when there is an A side and a B side in every pairing it loses its luster, and that pertains to the big fights as well.” And if we know one thing there certainly wasn’t a B-side fighter in the ring this past weekend. No sir, Keith and Shawn were both unrelenting, and looking back, if either one of them attempted to jab and box a little bit more, it may have been an easier night for them — perhaps not as fan friendly of a fight, but a little less physically taxing on the fighters.

That said, you know what else stands out about the fight besides both guys fighting their rear-ends off and giving the fans what they came to see? How about the judges, all three of them getting it right and actually viewing the same fight everyone else did. I was almost certain that with a bout that closely contested that there’d be one judge who would submit a card that was beyond comprehension, but no, it didn’t go down like that. The judges were actually in unison and saw that — most likely due to a little bit better ring generalship — Thurman edged it out. And yes, a fight can be unanimous but also very close. Sure, there were a couple of swing rounds, but in the main when Thurman didn’t get trapped along the ropes or in one of the corners, he got slightly the better of it. And even at that it probably came down to the 11th and 12th rounds.

Something else that stood out was the class and professionalism both fighters exhibited at ring center when the bout was over. Thurman basically said the fight was close and he can understand how Porter could perhaps feel as though he edged it out. Keith also said that he would be willing to fight Shawn again; something that would no doubt be a huge draw and please boxing fans. In the other corner, Porter was a class act and didn’t cry or complain about a narrow decision that you know inside he really thought should’ve gone his way.

Again, I ask, how often do we see two world class fighters jump at the chance to fight their equal, and then on fight night deliver beyond anyone’s expectation? Then when it’s over and the decision is announced, the judges for once actually saw the same fight that most of the fans watching saw. If we don’t know anything else, it’s a rarity that in a close fight all three judges seldom agree. It was great being wrong in that I expected one of the judges to hand in a card that was out in left field. And I loved that both guys offered high praise for the other after neither one proved to be superior over the other.

Yes, Thurman vs. Porter was everything that can be beautiful and wonderful about professional boxing, even in 2016. Hopefully Keith and Shawn will set a precedent and contenders in the other divisions will follow suit and fight the best of the best. And the reality is, Thurman earned the decision, but it’s not like Porter lost. Having an “L” to Thurman on his record doesn’t move me to not want to watch Porter fight again; actually it’s the opposite. Prior to the bout I knew he was the genuine article and it took everything Thurman had mentally and physically to edge Porter out. Not only would I love to see them fight each other again, I am looking forward to seeing them fight again against any one of the other top contenders in the welterweight division.

Thurman-Porter

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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COMMENTS

-brownsugar :

It almost seems sureal, that one fight between two good but unlikely boxers would have the effect of making such a large contribution to the sport of boxing. The effect I'm referring to is the sudden and universal epiphany among boxings consigliaries that fans want to see competitive matchups fought with passion and determination. I can even honestly say that I've seen the light myself and have undergone a complete transformation.....Mine eyes have been opened to the truth and I will never be the same again. Can I get a collectively reverent Amen? Even PBC who has been increasingly placed underseige by fiercely hostile critics and detractors and placed on life-support..... barely hanging on by a proverbial thread, may miraculously be standing on the threshold of redemption after the inspirational performance of two humble practitioners of the sweet science. That ten years from now, boxing fans will be watching championship boxing on a regular basis on network tv ..... and in the process circumspectfully bow their head while silently uttering the phrase "Thank You Al Haymon".... While in rememberance of the one who started it all. Please forgive my satirical rant, just couldn't resist after reading this well written article. Hopefully we can see more fights that actually look like "technical street fights" between fighters who dont feel the pressure to behave out of character in the prefight buildup while bringing up inappropriate subjects in the process of earning their pay the hard, but rewarding way. Its good to see the "Needy" and not the greedy. By that I mean fighters who crave our approval instead of boxers demanding 9 figures. ...or trying to follow in the footsteps of the PPV idols of the past. (Canelo) Next up Postol vs Crawford should continue to ratchet up the excitement...this is going to be a banner year for boxing. yet.


-The Good Doctor :

Maybe not exactly like the Porter-Thurman scrap, but this one has similar stature to Marquez-Diaz 1 in my eyes: -Very anticipated fight, that delivered on expected excitement. -Both fighters has just come off of good victories, Marquez over Casamayor and Barrera, Diaz over Katsidis, Nate Campbell, and Julio Diaz -Both regarded as top 5 fighters in their division -Non PPV fight. -Strap on the line -At the end of the fight, all judges had it alike and close -Both classy before, during, and after fight. -Produced a rematch, which I am pretty sure Porter-Thurman will. -Both decided to fight, early and often and neither man was relenting For my money, Marquez-Diaz 1 was more exciting, but both were a good watch. I kind of feel like Thurman-Porter was what Gamboa-JuanMa would have been if the people making the fights did not get so greedy trying to let it marinate.


-brownsugar :

Maybe not exactly like the Porter-Thurman scrap, but this one has similar stature to Marquez-Diaz 1 in my eyes: -Very anticipated fight, that delivered on expected excitement. -Both fighters has just come off of good victories, Marquez over Casamayor and Barrera, Diaz over Katsidis, Nate Campbell, and Julio Diaz -Both regarded as top 5 fighters in their division -Non PPV fight. -Strap on the line -At the end of the fight, all judges had it alike and close -Both classy before, during, and after fight. -Produced a rematch, which I am pretty sure Porter-Thurman will. -Both decided to fight, early and often and neither man was relenting For my money, Marquez-Diaz 1 was more exciting, but both were a good watch. I kind of feel like Thurman-Porter was what Gamboa-JuanMa would have been if the people making the fights did not get so greedy trying to let it marinate.
Great example Doc.


-Yogo :

Marquez Diaz was certainly the better fight but this was a prime example of what the sport can be. Rising above the filth and degradation two superb young champs and gentlemen give a true sporting example. I had it the same as the judges so kudos to them IMO. Kel needs to get on a plane after he's dealt with Vargas.


-The Good Doctor :

Marquez Diaz was certainly the better fight but this was a prime example of what the sport can be. Rising above the filth and degradation two superb young champs and gentlemen give a true sporting example. I had it the same as the judges so kudos to them IMO.
Kel needs to get on a plane after he's dealt with Vargas.
Even after Thurman's good showing against Porter, I think Kell smokes him. Am I crazy for thinking that?


-Yogo :

Kels a huge Welter, massive, i think he could beat Keith for sure but he must leave England. What is he? BA Barracus or something. Aint gettin' on no plane fool...


-Kid Blast :

Great post fight photo. Says it all


-brownsugar :

Kels a huge Welter, massive, i think he could beat Keith for sure but he must leave England. What is he? BA Barracus or something. Aint gettin' on no plane fool...
Lol....BA Barracus.... ... I think the version of Porter who fought Thurman fought a much better and more complete fight than he did against Brook. Against Brook he smothered nearly EVERYTHING and he also didnt respond as quickly as he did saturday to even up the punch talley either. Even after the layoff....this was a much improved Shawn Porter who I think would have given Brook problems with the relentless pace alone. Not saying it would be a guranteed victory for Porter by any means.... but in the least it would be a far more interesting fight than the first fight. Besides, Kells is growing, he's literally starving to move up in weight. If he has any kinks in his armour, Vargas will sort him out proper. I will withhold any further speculation about Kels until I see that fight. But in the relative short term I can envision Eroll Spence cleaning them all out as long as he can safely make weight, which probably wont be for too long...that kid has hardly no fat on him, you can almost count his muscle fibers individually... Talk about young and hungry....... Lol


-oubobcat :

Maybe not exactly like the Porter-Thurman scrap, but this one has similar stature to Marquez-Diaz 1 in my eyes: -Very anticipated fight, that delivered on expected excitement. -Both fighters has just come off of good victories, Marquez over Casamayor and Barrera, Diaz over Katsidis, Nate Campbell, and Julio Diaz -Both regarded as top 5 fighters in their division -Non PPV fight. -Strap on the line -At the end of the fight, all judges had it alike and close -Both classy before, during, and after fight. -Produced a rematch, which I am pretty sure Porter-Thurman will. -Both decided to fight, early and often and neither man was relenting For my money, Marquez-Diaz 1 was more exciting, but both were a good watch. I kind of feel like Thurman-Porter was what Gamboa-JuanMa would have been if the people making the fights did not get so greedy trying to let it marinate.
Good analogy Doc, Thurman-Porter was very similar in deed to Marquez-Diaz I. I had kind of forgotten about that fight and how anticipated it was at the time. Diaz was a young star who had lost to Nate Campbell but many thought would become a better fighter after that outing. Marquez had many great fights under him and the question coming into this fight was just how much he had left. It was a tough fight to call on paper and most thought regardless of who'd win we'd get a great fight. And we did. The rematch while not bad not nearly the same as the first. Personally, I prefer Thurman and Porter to go different ways now and maybe later consider a rematch.


-Domenic :

Normally fighters won't take this kind of risk. Generally what happens is they seek the softest acceptable opposition, then fans of said fighter bows in reverence to the promoter/matchmaker. It's a strange phenomenon. In this case, neither guy needed each other, but they threw caution to the wind, took a risk, and they both won. While Porter lost a narrow, debatable decision, for history's purposes, he didn't lose. This is a classic case where a fighter leaves the ring better than when he entered it. A huge audience saw his skill and determination in a non-stop, frenetic battle, and also saw his class after the fact. Win-win. He's more marketable now than he was Saturday afternoon. I also like this kind of fight. The WWE is there for people who like that form of entertainment. And those guys are tough, generally juiced to the hilt, and abuse their bodies to the point that many go off the rails or die by 45. But boxing doesn't need manufactured storylines, generally. This fight was the anti-Ricardo Mayorga. It was a good night for boxing. Hope it got huge ratings because it will beget more quality, non dead-end fights.