According to Mike Coppinger of Boxing Junkie, sources close to USA Today have indicated that an agreement has been reached for WBA World welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) to defend his title against former 147-pound champion, “Showtime” Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs). The date for the much anticipated clash will be either March 5 or 12, with the venue still being finalized.
It will be the main event for a Premier Boxing Champions event that will be televised by CBS.
The fight has long been rumored, and it’s great to see these two young lions getting into the ring. Twenty-seven-year-old Thurman has held some version of the WBA welterweight title since he won the interim championship with a 10th-round KO of Diego Chaves in July 2013. The undefeated Clearwater, Florida native talked about the prospective bout with USA Today in December. He said:
“This is a great matchup for the sport, and I’m pretty sure this is what Al Haymon wants. I believe it’s going to be a big fight. And a great fight.”
Both Thurman and Porter have always delivered action-packed fights. Thurman won a surprisingly competitive scrap with Luis Collazo in his last bout back in July 2015. After being staggered by a nasty body shot early in the bout, Thurman recovered to take control. Collazo was forced to retire after the seventh round.
Porter survived a 12th round knockdown at the hands of Adrien Broner to earn a unanimous decision back in June 2015. The former IBF champion and Akron, Ohio native would love to add the WBA crown to his trophy case.
Stylistically, this is a potentially epic bout. Thurman’s jab and power against Porter’s natural athleticism, pressure and toughness could be the formula for a welterweight classic.
Despite the fact that Thurman and Porter’s careers have run parallel, the two men have only one common opponent. Porter met veteran Julio Diaz on two occasions and Thurman has faced him once. In Porter’s first fight with Diaz back in December 2012, the result was a split draw. In the rematch, Porter won a rather lopsided unanimous decision.
Thurman had a much easier time with Diaz when they fought in April 2014. After dropping Diaz in the second round, Thurman forced the veteran to retire after the third. There may be something to be made from Thurman’s more convincing victory over Diaz, but ultimately, these two will be the only ones in the ring in March.
We’ll soon find out who will prevail in the head-to-head matchup.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.