Keith Thurman steals the show on PBC's debut
By TOM WATT on March 10 2015
This weekend saw Keith Thurman finally get his wish – a chance to fight a top name fighter in the Main Event of a big televised card. - For the last couple of years ‘One Time’ Thurman has stated that he just needed his chance and he would do the rest – on Saturday night in Vegas, he did just that, dominating former World Champion and highly respected, Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero on the way to a lop-sided UD win on the first of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions on NBC in America.
It was an opportunity for all the fighters on the main TV card (Broner, Molina Jr, Thurman and Geurrero) to make a household name for themselves, being part of the first of the new terrestrial series that promises to bring Boxing to a much wider audience that those who would pay to watch on PPV. Strangely though, it was not the 2 victors that took the adulation of the crowd. In fact, the first fight between the polarising Adrien Broner and John Molina Jr was met with boos by the final bell, such was the ease at which ‘The Problem’ took the fight. – And it’s probably fair to say that any casual fan would not be rushing to watch either of them again in a hurry. That put the pressure on the main event with KO specialist, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and former Mayweather opponent, Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero squaring off for the chance to hold themselves among the elite in Boxing’s richest division.
The first few rounds were close, with Guerrero countering well when Thurman opened up and the pair exchanging well on the inside and outside but in all honesty, Thurman never really looked out of control of this one, managing the distance well and landing heavy rights almost at will. A clash of heads in the 3rd round lead to a large swelling on Thurman’s forehead which continued to grow throughout the fight to almost freakish proportions and was the only real trouble that Thurman really had to deal with – as game as Guerrero was, he was being beaten to the punch and just couldn't find a way to undo ‘One Time’.
The fight continued at a good pace throughout and although Thurman was winning each round, it was still a close fight and it seemed as though Guerrero was biding his time before going on the offensive. He waited too long though and a glancing hook from Thurman in the 9th left Guerrero on his back and taking an 8 count from referee Kenny Bayless. That knockdown seemed to be just what ‘The Ghost’ needed though as he put together his best work in the subsequent 3 rounds. After beating the 8 count Guerrero managed to survive an onslaught from the heavy-handed Thurman to reach the bell and in the 10th cme out with a barrage of his own, moving forwards constantly and trying to bring the fight to Thurman who, at this stage was happy to move backwards and counter.
The 10th round had the arena on their feet and will no doubt be shown throughout the year as a candidate for round of the year with both fighters exchanging in the centre of the ring and on the ropes. After that though, Thurman ducked and dived out of reach, circling his opponent and picking heavy shots almost at will. Guerrero for his part, was not going to go down without a fight and really piled on the pressure in an attempt to claw it back but it was too little too late from the brave Californian fighter – had he brought that level of intensity from round 1 it may have been a very different outcome but as it stood, Thurman had deserved his win.
With his victory, Thurman now can rightfully claim to be part of the upper-echelons of the Welterweight division with the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Kell Brook (The 3 legitimate champions at Welterweight) and chasing pack of Amir Kham, Tim Bradley, Miguel Cotto and Rafael Marquez. Having seen him Knockout the majority of his opponents and out-box a tremendous boxer in Robert Guerrero he may find suitors hard to come by but if a big fight can be made, the fans will turn out to support Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
See Full List