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Keith Thurman to look for KO in first six rounds against Guerrero

Keith Thurman Robert GuerreroBy Dan Ambrose: WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) says he’ll be looking for a KO in the first six rounds this Saturday night in his title defense against former two division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) in their fight on NBC as part of the Premier Boxing Champions series at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thurman, 26, says that if he doesn’t score a knockout after six rounds, he’ll then focus on boxing Guerrero and look to win by a decision.

In other words, Thurman isn’t one of those fighters who keep looking to take his opponent’s heads off for the entire fight. If he fails at scoring a knockout in the first half of the fight, Thurman plans on going into his plan-B option by looking to win by a decision.

“This fight, I’ll let you know straight up: For six rounds, I’m going to be going at it with him. If he survives those six rounds, then you are going to see the boxer come out,” Thurman said via ESPN.com. “But for six rounds we are going to be right there banging with him, toe to toe, and putting on a great show.”

It sounds like Thurman will try and make it interesting for six rounds, and then he’ll go into the same retreat mode that he did in his last fight against Leonard Bundu.

I think that would be a bad idea if Thurman uses that plan, because not only will he likely give up a lot of rounds to Guerrero if he goes into retreat mode, but he’ll also likely lose a lot of boxing fans as well.

Thurman took a lot of heat for the way he fought his last fight against the 40-year-old Bundu in which Thurman ran around the ring for 12 rounds instead of mixing it up with the light hitting Bundu.

Thurman wasn’t just boxing Bundu, he was running from him. It was really awful to look at, especially with Thurman being the bigger, stronger and the far younger fighter of the two. Thurman was 14 years younger than the 40-year-old Bundu, yet he was running from him for 12 rounds in a real stinker of a fight.

“I don’t expect him to last 12 rounds,” Thurman said via RingTV.com. “He takes a punch to give one and I only need one. It won’t be a knockdown, it will be a knockout and it doesn’t matter if it’s to the head or the body.”

Guerrero does take a really good shot, and he’s also very good at returning fire after he gets tagged by his opponents. If Thurman is serious about wanting to go toe-to-toe with Guerrero, then he’s going to get hit a lot by him in this fight.

There’s no way that Thurman will be able to avoid taking shots from Guerrero if he really intends on trading shots with him to try and score an early knockout within the first six rounds. But of course, if Thurman can’t take the heat from Guerrero, then I suspect we’ll be seeing Thurman running like crazy in order to avoid getting hit in this fight.

If Thurman couldn’t handle the pressure from Bundu, then it’s likely he won’t be able to handle the pressure from Guerrero as well. In that case then I suspect we’ll be seeing Thurman running from Guerrero long before the 6th round.

It sounds nice that Thurman is talking about wanting to trade with Guerrero, but at the end of the day I think Thurman’s chin is too fragile and his pain threshold not strong enough for him to stay in the pocket with Guerrero for the first six rounds.

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