This past Saturday night, boxing fans were treated to one of the best fights of the year when reigning WBA world welterweight champion, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman went to war with former IBF champ, ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter, live on CBS. Thurman emerged the victor with a narrow unanimous decision and the right to call himself the best welterweight in the world today.
In Part 1 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Keith Thurman, I get his thoughts on the fight and what things surprised him about Porter’s performance. Thurman also spoke about Danny Garcia and the likelihood of facing him next. Additionally, ‘One Time’ talked about a potential rematch with Porter in the future and a possible unification bout with the undefeated WBC champion, Danny Garcia. Here is what Keith Thurman had to say.
Jenna J: How are you feeling after your fight with Shawn Porter?
Keith Thurman: I feel good, it was a great fight, it was a war. We both took great shots from one another but I’m feeling good, I’m feeling better every single day. There’s a little soreness, a little swelling, but everything is coming along and we’re feeling good. There’s no major injuries, so all’s well that ends well.
Jenna J: Fight fans really enjoyed the fight, it was the highest rated boxing telecast of the year. Are you happy with the type of fight that you both put out?
Keith Thurman: Yes, we were telling the world that this was going to be one of the most exciting fights. You got two of the best welterweights in the division, some of the best fighters that America has to offer and we proved that. We both brought the best out of each other the other night and we put on one heck of a show for the fans.
Jenna J: Looking back at the fight, is there anything that surprised you about Shawn Porter in the fight?
Keith Thurman: No, he did a lot of things that I thought he would do. They said that they were going to work on that foot speed and he was faster and he had more movement than when I saw him three years ago when he was in part of a camp with me. We expected him to make some adjustments and I expected him to do his best and that’s what he did. I simply just boxed smart, I used my defense and I was able to land my counters and my big shots as well.
Jenna J: Did the pressure that he put on you ever bother you at any point in the fight?
Keith Thurman: No, I trained with three different professional fighters. Edner Cherry was actually part of the sparring and preparation for Shawn Porter. Edner applied a lot of pressure and I would bring him in at the end my other two sparring partners because Edner was the lightest of my sparring partners. We were able to mimic a lot of that pressure in training camp, so I was really prepared. All I kept telling myself was, “Keep your hands up, stay calm and pick your shots.”
Jenna J: In the fight you hit Porter with some tremendous clean shots, were you surprised that he was able to take your blows?
Keith Thurman: We did know that there were going to be plenty of moments to engage and we figured that dropping the power, we would be able to do some damage, hurt him and possibly knock him down. We did wobble him but we did not get him down, he did withstand the blows very well in the fight, it was impressive and I give him a lot of props for everything. He brought his heart, I brought my heart. He brought his skills and I brought my skills. It was really just a great fight.
Jenna J: Being that the fight was close, do you feel the need to have a rematch to end any doubt as to who is the better fighter?
Keith Thurman: I don’t think there’s any doubt about who won. In a close fight you’re always going to have a few people not agree with scorecards. Shawn Porter being very aggressive, some people may want to give him a few more rounds, but at the end of the day I landed the better power punches and I believe that it showed.
My defense throughout the fight, with my effective offense, was what got me the victory and allowed me to remain champion. Because it was a competitive fight and the fans liked it, I can understand if they want to see it again. I have no problem doing that but I’m going to sit back and see what I need to do as a champion. I’ll talk to Al Haymon and assess what’s going on this year. There are other fighters that I do want to fight, but I am open to giving Shawn Porter a rematch in the future.
Jenna J: After the fight you stated a desire to face Danny Garcia, but he’s holding out for a possible fight with Floyd Mayweather. Do you think a fight between you and Danny is possible?
Keith Thurman: You’re going to have to ask Danny what he wants to do, but I already said that I want to fight Danny Garcia. I want more than one belt, I want to fight undefeated champions. Me and Shawn Porter had a great match up and I believe me and Danny would be another terrific match up for the sport and for my career, and for his career as well. It’s an opportunity to unify two titles, so I just don’t see a reason why not to make a fight. I’m gonna keep asking for it.
Jenna J: Kell Brook said that after facing Jessie Vargas, he’d like to face you. Is that a fight that interests you?
Keith Thurman: It does. There will be plenty of belts on the line and once again, you would get two undefeated welterweight champions of the world. I believe it’s time for the best to fight the best and I’m ready to make all those things happen in the near future.