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PBC on NBC premiere a success with Thurman-Guerrero toe-to-toe

Keith Thurman Robert GuerreroBy Bill Christian Gabay: It did not start off very well. NBC producers were probably getting a bit anxious what with John Molina Jr. (27-6, 22 KOs) deciding to be Adrien Broner’s (30-1, 22 KOs) punching bag for 12 rounds in their fight last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fans at ringside could be seen on TV looking at their cellphones, talking to their companions or looking other directions away from the ring.

But that bout did go as expected. Molina lost his last 2 fights and was no match for the faster, craftier and more skillful Broner.

Fortunately for the true boxing fans (as well as the casual ones who may have happened to stumble on this latest attempt to bring Boxing back to prime time TV), the main event between Keith “One-Time” Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-3, 18 KOs) lived up to its billing. Thurman showed that he is ready to face boxing’s top fighters by pounding Guerrero for 12 rounds and even knocking him down once. Guerrero’s only previous loss was to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (2013).

Thurman was impressive. Everyone knew he had power and has been knocking opponents out left and right. But last night he also showed his athleticism, quick hands and feet, and overall ring generalship. He did not let a resurgent Guerrero steal the fight in the later rounds when the latter kept on coming forward despite the damage he was taking from One-Time.

Guerrero commented during a post-fight interview that Keith Thurman is not quite ready to take on Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr just yet but perhaps in the future he would be. I agree with his statement. While Thurman is just full of potential and may be boxing’s next big superstar, if he could not finish off Guerrero, he would have a very difficult time beating the most elusive counter-punching fighter out there.

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