Purses: Thurman $1.4M, Porter $1M
By Allan Fox: WBA World welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) wants to become a big star and make the big money that guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr. made during his career. Thurman will be getting a $1.4 million purse for his title defense tonight against former IBF 147lb champion Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) in their fight on Premier Boxing Champion on CBS from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Porter is getting $1 million. That’s good money for a challenger. For both of these fighters to get the kind of money that we saw from Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, they’re going to need to up their game to become more exciting.
Mayweather was one of those fighters that had cat-like reflexes that enabled him to pick his opponents apart without getting hit. Pacquiao was blinding fast, very powerful, and an all-out type of puncher. Thurman and Porter are both slower and not as flashy. Thurman is probably more powerful than Pacquiao and Mayweather, but he doesn’t have the entertaining style of fighting that we saw from those super stars.
Thurman is always quick to retreat around the ring rather than stand his ground the way we saw with Mayweather and Pacquiao. It’s nice that Thurman can punch hard, but he ruins it by retreating too much. Thurman doesn’t seem to have a good attitude when it comes to him taking more risks in the ring to become an entertaining fighter.
“Does the public pickup my paycheck? Do they sign my paycheck? Do they cash my paycheck? You have to love and respect the public, but then you have to disregard them at the same time,” said Thurman to Thaboxingvoice.com when talking about his movement being seen as running by the boxing public. “Understand the sport you are watching. It’s boxing. The definition of boxing is to hit and not get hit. The real art of boxing is being a circle fighter…If you can’t hit me, then you can’t beat me,” said Thurman.
It doesn’t sound like Thurman wants to take the risks involved to become a huge star like Mayweather and Pacquiao, which is probably why he’ll likely stay at this level rather than taking his career to the next level if he gets past Porter tonight.
Thurman sees the winner of this fight as being crowned as the No.1 fighter in boxing. I don’t think the fans are going to see it that way. The casual fans will likely see Thurman and Porter as just two of the many different welterweights in the division. Since the Thurman vs. Porter fight will probably lack the skills or excitement that we saw in Mayweather and Pacquiao’s fights, the fans won’t be overly impressed, especially if Thurman chooses to fight in his “circle fighter” mode rather than standing in the pocket and trying to make it entertaining for the fight fans.
Thurman is a -230 favorite to beat Porter, who is at +190. It’s close enough fight for either of these guys to win. If Thurman is going to run around the ring tonight, it’ll be up to the judges to decide whether they like the style enough to give him rounds. At some point, the judges will see Thurman’s movement as running and they might not give him the rounds he needs for him to win the fight.
“This is my career on the line, my title on the line, my undefeated record on the line,” said Thurman. I’m going to do what I do. I practice what I preach. The boy is going to sleep!”
Porter will need to put a lot of pressure on Thurman if he wants to win the fight, because Thurman will be circling the ring in his “circle fighter” style. Thurman said that he plans on using the game plan that Kell Brook employed against Porter in his victory over him in 2014. Brook used a lot of punching and then holding immediately to keep Porter from being able to throw shots. It was the punch and grab technique, and it worked well for Brook.
The fight was very boring to watch as a fan because of all the clinching by Brook, but the referee wasn’t doing anything about it, so you can’t blame for Brook continuing to hold all night. He wouldn’t have done well if he couldn’t hold on the inside. Thurman didn’t say whether he’ll hold like Brook, but you have to assume that he does plan on doing that when he says he’s going to use Brook’s game plan.