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Shawn Porter to fight Keith Thurman on 3/12

Keith Thurman Shawn PorterBy Dan Ambrose: Last Saturday night, former IBF welterweight champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) revealed to Showtime Sports that a deal is being finalized for him to face WBA World welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) on March 12 at a still to be determined venue. Porter will be looking to capture Thurman’s WBA title and return to a world championship status. Porter lost his IBF 147lb title to British fighter Kell Brook by a 12 round decision in 2014 in a close fight.

“I’m being told that that fight is being finalized and will be taking place March 12,” Porter said to Showtime. “I’ll be ready for the fight and March 12 can’t come any sooner!” No venue has been named.”

This should be a good 50-50 fight. Some fans believe that Thurman will be able to outbox Porter the same way that Brook did by using a lot of jabbing and holding. The holding might not work against Porter, but the jabbing could be successful if Porter isn’t able to duck under the shots.

Thurman likes to throw a lot of left hooks while retreating around the ring. That’s probably how the fight will be conducted. Thurman backing up, throwing left hooks, and perhaps doing a lot of holding like Brook and Adrien Broner did against Porter. Thurman does not fight well on the inside, so you can expect him to hold as much as possible to shut Porter down.

Porter, 28, has won his last two fights since his loss to Brook. Porter has since beaten Erick Bone and Broner. He looked good in both fights.

Thurman, 27, had a good year in 2015 in beating Luis Collazo and Robert Guerrero. In 2014, Thurman beat Leonard Bundu and Julio Diaz.

The knock on Porter and Thurman is they still haven’t fought anyone really good. Thurman has been fighting a lot of old timers in the last two years of his career, and not looked great any of his fights. Porter beat Broner, which is easily better than any win that Thurman has had in his career.

Porter lost to Brook after failing to adapt to the frequent clinching that he was using to stifle his offense. Porter beat Paulie Malignaggi in 2014. Porter also beat Julio Diaz and Devon Alexander in 2014 in impressive performances. Thurman beat Diaz in a better fashion than Porter did.

It’s going to be interesting to see how well Thurman does against Porter because it’s such a step up from the fighters that Thurman has been facing thus far. Thurman has talked a lot about wanting to take Floyd Mayweather Jr’s place at the top fighter in the 147lb division, but he’s not done anything to prove that he’s the guy that can fight well enough to step into his big shoes. Thurman isn’t winning over the fans.

The reason for that could be the poor match-making that’s being done for him by his management. If they would take a chance with Thurman, it would really help his career if does prove to have the talent to beat the best. Right now, you can’t say that Porter is good enough to be Mayweather’s replacement because he’s being matched too carefully and he’s not looking invincible or impressive.

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