The Big Question: Thurman v Porter - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
25/06/2016 10:39am

A world welterweight title fight to get your teeth into. A star in the making (?), a former champion, and the friendship of WBA World champion Keith Thurman and challenger Shawn Porter put to one side for one night.

But who wins? Will Thurman deliver in his biggest fight to date? Will Porter batter his way through to becoming a two-time world champion after losing his IBF title to Kell Brook?

A fascinating 50-50 match-up. The Boxing Monthly online team give their verdicts on who will emerge victorious.

I may be in the minority, but I don't think this fight will produce the fireworks many expect. Shawn Porter often smothers his own work by electing to get too close to his opponent, and favours quantity over quality. This style has been effective for him but rarely makes for a fan-friendly spectacle.

I believe Thurman will attempt to box and move, and try to keep things at range. This could be similar to Porter's fight against Kell Brook. I reckon Thurman's cleaner work will get him a - close but fair - decision. – John A. MacDonald.

When this fight was first discussed, I like many favoured Thurman. But as time has gone on with postponements that have kept Thurman idle for the better part of a year, my thoughts have changed.

Porter has undoubtedly faced the better opposition as a pro and is arguably coming off the finest performance of his career, dominating Adrien Broner last June. Even in his loss to Kell Brook in 2014, Porter won the early rounds and was competitive throughout. The question is will Keith Thurman be able to make adjustments the way Brook did in that bout? Has Porter learned from his mistakes and/or improved since his lone defeat? Can Thurman get Porter’s respect early on and keep him off?

This is a fascinating matchup of styles, but ultimately I believe we are in for an ugly bout. I envision Porter rushing inside and smothering Thurman’s attack. I envision head-butts. I envision cuts. In the end, 'Showtime' Shawn Porter scores the upset via majority / split decision. – Michael Montero.

I don’t think this will be a slugfest by any means. But it is one of those rare occasions - a competitive fight between two elite operators in one of the sports premier divisions. Taking that into account, I expect it to be a great spectacle.

Sparring footage has leaked online from a session these two shared some time ago, in which the action was fairly inconclusive. However, it is three years old and sparring and competitive fights are different animals.

I think Porter has the better resume, and been tested at a higher level. That being said, Porter’s success usually derives from being more physically imposing and active than his opponent. I don’t see Thurman getting bullied whatsoever. I can see Thurman snaking out that underrated jab as Porter tries to bull inside, wearing the Ohio man down, before unleashing some of that power we know he possesses. I also expect Porter to slip some of that and get inside, and give Thurman some hairy moments, both with his own work and frustrating Thurman by restricting his.

I expect it to go to the judges and for it to be very close, with Porter maybe even winning on one set of cards. However, a Thurman split decision is my bet. The big caveat is, is Thurman the same fighter after his recent injury issues? – James Oddy.

The welterweight division post-Mayweather and Pacquiao is one which is full of quality, evenly matched but lacking that blue chip star for everyone to shoot at. This weekend provides Keith Thurman and Shaun Porter the opportunity to become that guy.

The reputation of both fighters has changed since their last fight. Porter comfortably beat Adrien Broner despite being dropped, whereas Thurman was hurt badly by Luis Collazo before stopping him. There was also the delay in getting the fight signed, and the postponement after that.

In terms of public perception, Porter goes into this fight on the rise. Despite all of this I don’t think Porter is a better fighter than when he fought against Kell Brook. He was able to outwork and overpower a fighter in Broner, who while talented has no right fighting about 140lbs. Even though I don’t think Porter has improved, I don’t think Thurman is as good as Kell Brook.

This fight has been so long in the making that it’s easy to forget that both fighters are close to a year since their last fight, because of this I’m not expecting this to be a shootout from the opening bell. Both fighters can punch and both have shown vulnerabilities so I expect a cagey start from both but for Thurman to put rounds in the bank. I think Porter will pick up the energy in the middle rounds and have his successes. The closing rounds will be open as Porter continues to apply pressure but the expectation is for Thurman to do enough to win a deserved decision something like 115-113. – Callum Rudge.

Both fighters have been faaaaaaaaar too inactive for my liking, but I think Thurman will have slightly more dig on his punches and still has enough of the "wolf climbing the hill" mentality left as he tries to prove himself amongst the world's elite welterweights.

I suspect Porter will always fall short against the very-top elite welterweights, and I think Thurman wins a close, but unanimous decision in a fairly boring fight. – Colin Harris.

Always good to see two of the best boxers in a weight division meeting.

This fight will tell us a lot about both of them, and I fancy the rangier Thurman to gradually get the upper hand of a close and, at times, messy and untidy battle. Defeat for either man would be a huge blow and when there's a lot at stake fights can become pretty cagey. So I don't foresee any knockdowns or nerve shredding drama, rather a tight technical battle which Thurman edges by an inevitably 'controversial' / 'hotly disputed' decision. – Luke G. Williams.

I’m picking Porter to upset Thurman.

“Hawk” Porter has faced a higher calibre of opposition and should be able to back Thurman up with his marauding approach. Of course, there’s every chance “One Time” hits one out of the park as Porter, throwing pineapples, flings himself headlong into the fray, however, I fancy the keyed-up Ohioan to outwork Thurman – who’s looked less impressive as he’s stepped up in class - over 12 hotly-contested rounds. – Andrew Harrison.

There's been great expectation on the shoulders for Keith Thurman for quite some time, and tonight is the night where he has to deliver.

The talk, the swagger, the power... just some of the ingredients that Thurman has to become a very marketable star. But Shawn Porter, I believe, is going to give him absolute hell in this fight. It'll be rough, tough, and ugly at times but Porter is going to leave it all out there. I do think Thurman is the real deal, and this fight is where we find out everything about him. It wouldn't shock me if it's a wide decision for Thurman, but the machismo and their friendship means these two are going to forget about the fundamentals and go to war at times in this fight.

Thurman on points, but not after being cut, hurt and banged up - particularly to the body. - Shaun Brown

Boxing Monthly verdict: Thurman 6 Porter 2