A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter: The future of boxing?
Golden Boy Promotions have done a tremendous job making some of the biggest events featuring Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Bernard Hopkins, Miguel Cotto, Danny Garcia, ‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin, and a number of popular fighters on their stable behind the network giant SHOWTIME Championship Boxing. But there are two fighters that Golden Boy is really doing enormous wonders for, and I think the boxing world are finally taking notice.
25- year-old, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Shawn Porter are exciting fight fans and people are talking about them a lot more in recent days after both fighters posted career-best performances just one-week a part from one another.
Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs), in defense of the interim WBA welterweight title, knocked out long-time veteran and former world champion, Julio Diaz (40-10-1, 29 KOs) within three rounds last Saturday. On Saturday, April 19, Porter, making the first defense of the IBF welterweight title he took from Devon Alexander last year December, viciously knocked out two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi in four rounds.
Both Thurman and Porter aren’t elite fighters. However, they’re consistent and are showing improving skills as they continue to develop into more recognizable fighters. They are both made for television, as people love to watch knockouts. Especially Thurman, whom a lot of people are still not fully ‘sold’ on, but his punching power is what’s keeping him on SHOWTIME.
Thurman’s most reliable asset is his two-fisted knockout out power. Only former world champion Jan Zavek survived twelve rounds with Thurman. Everyone else has been stopped in their tracks. Diaz, a very experienced boxer, was expected to test Thurman. But Diaz failed miserably.
“I felt the body shot (to Diaz),” Thurman spoke of his dominance of Diaz. “I felt he was going to go down. I wondered if I hadn’t landed it clean enough. He’s a tough guy. He showed up to fight. You saw what he was doing in the ring. His rib… he had eight more rounds to go so he did what he had to do.”
As an amateur, Thurman won six national championships, while posting 101 victories. As a professional, he is posting very exceptional power. Since winning the interim WBA welterweight title from Diego Chavez last July, Thurman has two successful defenses which include a KO against Jesus Soto-Karass in December.
Perhaps Thurman has to kind of power that could lead him into a major fight down the road against someone like a Mayweather, or Garcia.
“Everybody shoots for the Mayweather sweepstakes,” Thurman said. “I am here to entertain, to dominate the welterweight division. I love the sport of boxing. I love knockouts. I am going to keep giving them to you.”
As much respect Thurman has for the bigger names in the division, he is equally welcoming on Porter, who displayed tremendous heart, physical, and mental toughness against Malignaggi. Porter simply picked Malignaggi part. Porter’s left hooks and combination punching was simply too much for Paulie. Malignaggi has shared the ring with Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Juan Diaz, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Adrien Broner, and Lovermore N’dou. Malignaggi fought some very strong fighters, but Porter simply had no respect for Malignaggi’s boxing skills. He was able to walk through Paulie’s punches with relative ease.
“Shawn Porter is a terrific fighter,” Thurman said. “He’s a great friend of mine. He’s a devastating boxer-puncher like myself. Whenever they’re ready, I am ready.”
As an amateur, Porter has boxed more than 1000 rounds in active competition. He has 13 national titles, to complement an amateur career that consisted of more than 250 victories. He has a professional mark of 24-0, 15 KOs as a professional. He started fighting professionally in 2008 and has fought some good fighters. But the night he dethroned Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title at the Barclays Center last December was impressive. Porter brought the fight straight to Alexander by throwing punches and literally out-muscling him to win a world title.
Big things are expected of Porter and Thurman may not be too far behind.