Two of the best welterweights in the world are set to meet in Brooklyn on Saturday night. Danny Garcia is set to face Shawn Porter with the vacant WBC welterweight title up for grabs.
With that said, let’s revisit a humdinger from Porter’s career, involving a foil he has in common with Garcia. On June 25th 2016, Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman put on an instant classic.
There was plenty of glitz and glamour to this one. The headliner involved a clash between two of the world’s best. Thurman, the undefeated WBA welterweight champion: an accolade he holds to this day. Porter, a former champion with one loss on his record at the time. The two combatants came together to the sound of an enthused crowd.
Porter’s style in the early rounds was to dart forward with a jab to the body before coming up with a jab to the head. In contrast, Thurman looked for angles, stepping off and throwing wide hooks. Porter was the spear and Thurman, the claymore.
The first round was both an education in contrasting technique and foreshadowing of the brawl that would follow. At the closing of the first stanza, we saw that golden moment only seen in exciting bouts. The crowd acknoweldged that the first round was thrilling, showing gratitude to the fighters for disregarding the feeling-out period.
Shawn Porter’s style evolved during the bout. At first, he picked shots, changing levels with his lead hand. He soon realised the value of his physicality. In round two, Porter began to use his size and strength to roughhouse Thurman. It paid-off for him early when he hurt Thurman in round two, before muscling him against the ropes and throwing clubs, making it a dogfight.
Thurman appears to tell himself ‘it won’t be that easy’, throwing stinging shots back at Porter when they leave the ropes. Thurman’s hawk-like eye for a counter punch was the difference-maker. He landed multiple significant shots that inspired gasps from the crowd, purely because of his ability to spot an opening.
Both fighters increased these offensive methods as the rounds progressed. Thurman would bait Porter in, setting traps to unleash punishing reposts. Porter looked to make it a grimey backstreet brawl.
Regardless of their opinion of the decision, the fans went home happy. This fight had it all, it was a high level bout and a barnburner at the same time.
Both men had a reason to look for the KO. Porter’s strength and desire to make it a brawl can sway the judges. Porter’s technical accumen and dangerous counter hook make him increasingly threatening as the seconds tick on.
However, neither man could finish the other because it was such a close match-up. People that think a bout is boring if it goes the distance need to watch this match.