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Thurman: I plan on hurting Porter

Keith Thurman Shawn PorterBy Dan Ambrose: In a month from now on March 12, WBA “regular” welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) will be facing what could be the toughest opponent of his career in Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) at the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Thurman, 27, doesn’t think that Porter will be able to handle his punching power, and he expects to hurt him constantly. Thurman isn’t sure whether he’ll be able to KO him, but he does feel confident that he’ll be able to put him down on the canvas like he’s done with some of his recent opponents Robert Guerrero and Leonard Bundu. Thurman had them down but he couldn’t KO them.

“The two most recent fights that went 12 rounds were Robert Guerrero and Bundu,” Thurman said to Michelle Joy Phelps from Behind the Gloves. “Both fighters got knocked down so it’s obvious that when you fight Keith Thurman the odds of being knocked down are higher than the odds of being knocked out.”

The fact that Thurman is no longer finishing off his opponents suggests that he’s not jumping on them the way he needs to after he gets them in trouble. Part of the problem that Thurman has is he doesn’t like to get hit. He shies away from taking blows, and when hurt someone, they’re going to fight back. A hurt fighter is like a trapped animal. They’re going to fight hard on instinct. That’s why Thurman is only getting knockdowns instead of knockouts. Thurman appears to lack the needed courage to go after his opponents after he hurts them.

“We plan on hurting Porter, we plan on being smart and wise, and taking advantage of the opportunities we have to land the devastating blows,” Thurman said. “I see every fight possibly going 12 rounds but, considering that math was my favorite subject growing up, I do love what we call Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman’s KO ratio. It’s a beautiful KO ratio – 26-0 with 22 wins by knockout.”

It’s interesting that Thurman is bragging about his KO ratio, because most of those knockouts came against weak opposition. The best fighter that Thurman stopped in the past was probably Diego Chaves, and he’s a flawed fighter who has problems taking body shots. Chaves also had Thurman staggering in that fight.

“In the fight world we call it a measuring stick,” Thurman said. “Brook was able to defeat Porter – is Keith Thurman able to beat Porter? If so, in what form and in what fashion? Does it go 12 rounds, is it more or less competitive than the Brook fight, do I stop Porter?”

Brook never came close to stopping Porter. Kell Brook used his jab and a lot of holding to beat Porter. That was before Porter knew how to deal with fighters that hold him nonstop. After the Brook fight, Porter learned how to handle fighters that hold all night long. We saw that in Porter’s win over Adrien Broner last June. Each time Broner grabbed Porter on the inside, Porter was able to keep throwing punches by getting an arm free and nailing Broner.

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