Al Haymon has ostensibly freed Keith Thurman from his fetters for his first ever serious fight against Shawn Porter, Saturday, June 25th at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. The weak WBA welter title will be on the line as Thurman, 26-0, 22 KO, also defends his perfect record against that of Porter, 26-1-1, 16 KO.
The talented Thurman has certainly faced decent opposition of sorts, but they’ve all been in the class “B” type fighters he was expected to beat, not a prime top contender and former champion like Porter. Of course this being an Al Haymon fight, the very well spoken but somewhat bland personality Porter will be the underdog as Haymon looks to replace the undefeated TUE, 49-0, with the telegenic, Thurman who could certainly use a publicity boost after being on the shelf all these years.
In Porter’s last fight against another Haymon darling, Adrien Broner, the catchweight drained Porter heavily pressured Broner who unaccountably changed his style from his standard face first defense to a flapping, running chicken that resulted in a terribly dreary fight. Broner suddenly turned the tables in the opening seconds of the last round for a flash knockdown over a surprised Porter, but the decision turned out to be a rare gem in boxing these days by going to the infinitely more deserving Porter. I expect Thurman to also utilize an excessively cautious style as he looks to set up a far bigger punch than Broner could ever dream of, but can he land it when he needs it?
Big Problem for Thurman: He suffered injuries from an unusual single vehicle accident in whatever the latest blingmobile he was driving that set back this fight 3 months. The forces involved in the collision set off his air bags that TKOed him by whiplashing his neck and spine. After a couple of months of therapy, he resumed sparring and reportedly progressed well, so we shall see how well he’s recovered soon enough.
Both are in their primes with Thurman being faster, Porter being stronger. Hard to know how such a competitive matchup might turn out other than as previously mentioned, Thurman is the undeniable choice of the Haymon who runs his end of boxing somewhat like the UFC, each existing as their own league though Haymon has yet to create his own belts as the UFC has done. Such is how it currently goes in his little fiefdom of boxing, so good luck to Porter who will need a whole lot of it coupled to a good game plan if he plans on winning this fight.