One of the more highly anticipated welterweight match-ups in the sport of boxing finally has a date and place.
Return to CBS
WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman will lock horns with former IBF 147-pound king Shawn Porter on March 12th at the Mohegan Sun Casino Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. It will be televised in the prime time block on CBS, making it the first primetime boxing event since 1978 when Leon Spinks scored a mammoth 15-round upset of Muhammad Ali.
Although both Thurman and Porter are handled by Al Haymon who owns PBC, the bout interestingly will not carry the PBC branding. Instead it will carry the title “Showtime Championship Boxing on CBS” as CBS is the parent network of Showtime which will produce the said affair. Regardless of brand, this bout is expected to be a barnburner with two of the most exciting welterweights going at it.
Thurman will be making the third defense of his title. Last year, Thurman battered Robert Guerrero to a 12 round unanimous decision victory before taking out Luis Collazo in seven rounds during the debut of PBC on ESPN. His 2-0 performance against former world champions in 2015 earned Thurman the title of PBC Fighter of The Year. Known as One-Time for his dreaded knockout power, Thurman is undefeated in 27 bouts where he has 26 wins and 1 No-Contest. 22 of his wins were by knockout and his more popular KO victims include Carlos Quintana, Diego Gabriel Chaves, Jesus Soto Karass, Julio Diaz and Collazo.
Although Thurman has an impressive record, he needs a career-defining win to establish superstardom. A victory against Porter, a boxer he’s known since their amateur days, would give him that. The two have been hyped to face each other in the last three years and after a lengthy negotiation, Thurman hopes he will be the one to move forward.
Porter’s rise to superstardom was halted when he lost to current IBF champion Kell Brook by majority decision in 2014. Since then, Porter has won two fights in a row, including a 12-round unanimous decision win over Adrien Broner in June of 2015. Porter has a record of 26-1-1 with 16 KOs and while he does not have the big puncher reputation of Keith Thurman, he has a work rate that could topple any 147-pound fighter. Porter owns notable victories over the likes of Julio Diaz, Paulie Malignaggi, Devon Alexander and Broner.
Like Thurman, Porter is looking for a signature win that will propel him to the top. Fighting a guy like Thurman won’t only give him a world title, it will put him back on the 147 pound map once again.
Since Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s retirement last September and Manny Pacquiao’s impending departure after April 9th, there will be a huge void in the talent laden 147-pound weight class. With none of the champions really establishing himself as the division’s top dog, the winner of this bout will have a good stake at that claim.