Guerrero vs. Thurman & Broner vs. Molina Jr next Saturday, March 7th
By Dan Ambrose: WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) will be putting his unbeaten record on the line next Saturday night on March 7th in what could be the toughest fight of his career against former two division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Guerrero-Thurman fight will be televised on the inaugural Premier Boxing Champions card on NBC.
This is a fight where both guys have a lot to prove. Thurman needs to show that he can stay in the pocket and stand his ground rather than him running each time his opponent looks to throw a punch at him.
Thurman has picked up a bad habit where he’ll only throw punches when he feels absolutely certain there won’t be any return fire coming his way. He also tends to throw way too many left hooks while retreating all over the ring.
Thurman is going to need to show that he’s not a full time runner, because he’s not going to ever become a star in the United States with a fighting style like that. To be sure, he can hold onto the WBA title for ages, but he’ll likely be no better off than guys like Andre Berto, who held down world titles but never become a huge star.
This is a make or break fight for Guerrero, 31, as he’s only fought once in the past two years since getting schooled by Floyd Mayweather Jr in losing a 12 round unanimous decision in May of 2013. Guerrero spoke of wanting an immediate rematch with Mayweather, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen.
Guerrero ended up staying out of the ring for 15 months before returning to defeat Japanese slugger Yoshihiro Kamegai by a hard fought 12 round unanimous decision.
Former three division world champion Adrien Broner (27-2, 22 KOs) will be fighting lightweight John Molina Jr (27-5, 22 KOs) in a 12 round bout. This is more or less the same caliber of opponent for Broner as his last fight against Emmanuel Taylor. For some reason, Broner’s adviser Al Haymon seems reluctant to put Broner in with someone good that could challenge.
Molina would have been a good opponent for Broner a couple of years ago, but not now. Molina has lost his last two fights to Lucas Matthysse and Humberto Soto. Just why Broner wasn’t matched against either of those fighters is the big question.
If they wanted to match Broner against a decent contender, they should have put him in with the guys that beat Molina instead of having him fight Molina himself. It’s not helping Broner that he’s being matched against tune up after tune up bout instead of being put in with someone who can tell boxing fans whether Broner is cut out for the light welterweight division.
Broner’s last fight against Emmanuel Taylor showed pretty clearly that Broner doesn’t have the talent to be a major player in the division. Broner’s main chance of becoming something important is to wait out Danny Garcia, Viktor Postol and Lucas Mattysse for them to move up in weight to welterweight before going after one of the titles.
Former three division world champion Abner Mares (28-1-1, 15 KOs) will be fighting his third straight tune-up bout in facing Arturo Santos Reyes (18-4, 5 KOs). Mares has beaten Jonathan Oquendo and Jose Reyes in his last two fights after having been stopped in the 1st round by Jhonny Gonzalez in August of 2013.
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