Thurman has his finest hour in slipping past Porter

by Gary Shelton on June 26, 2016 · 0 comments

in Boxing, general

Sunday, 6 a.m.

He is a bright man. He can talk philosophy or world religions.

Thurman won his toughest fight against Shawn Porter.

Thurman won his toughest fight against Shawn Porter.

He is a caring man. He will tell you stories about his father, about his old trainer, Ben Getty.

He is a man of perspective. He can talk about boxing history, about Tyson and Ali and Mayweather, about the up-and-coming fighters and the way the years ahead will separate them.

Saturday night, he was a savage man.

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In a fight that wasn't very far along before the announcers started talking about the Fight of the Year,  Thurman gave and he took. And in the end, he won a narrow decision. All three judges scored it 115-113.

This was the hardest Thurman has been pushed in his career. This was his toughest fight against his toughest foe after his toughest layoff. He had to find something inside, something competitive, something hard. Shawn Porter kept bear-hugging Thurman to avoid trouble, but nevertheless, it was close enough for the crowd to boo at the decision.

“I want to thank Shawn Porter for an tremendous fight,” said Thurman, 27, from Clearwater. “He's a great warrior. Shawn brought it today. He was on me. But I knew that defense would be the key to victory. He smothers his punches a lot and it's very difficult for the judges to give him clear scoring.

“I was able to rock him with clear, effective blows, and I believe that was the key to victory today. He's in tremendous shape and is a tremendous athlete, and I would love to see him in the ring again if he wanted it.”

Thurman was unable to add Porter to his list of boxers he's knocked down. Instead, he and his former sparring partner went toe-to-toe.

“I gave it a throwback in Round 2 and gave him the rope-a-dope, Muhammad Ali style,” Thurman said. “I was just thinking defense, defense, defense. Defense negates his offense. He had a great offense but I had a great defense today.”

Porter has admitted that this is a key point in his career. After this fight, he intends to try to unify the title belts. There will be harder fights, tougher fights. The building of his legacy is about to begin.

If this was any indication, he's tough enough for the journey.

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