(Main photo credit: Esther Lin, Showtime)
Boxing fans, this year continues to get better and better.
Today it was announced that the highly anticipated match-up between Keith "One Time" Thurman and "Showtime" Shawn Porter, would finally take place on Saturday, March 12th on CBS.
Thurman, the WBA Welterweight World Champion, will defend his title against Porter, who is coming off of a unanimous decision over then three-division world champion Adrien Broner, in a battle of two of the world's best 147-pound fighters.
Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs), of Clearwater, Fla., and Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs), of Las Vegas by way of Akron, Ohio, both had great years in 2015, and are looking to establish their position as the future of boxing now that Floyd Mayweather has retired. Per today's press release:
"Thurman vs. Porter is a marquee matchup of two elite boxers in the prime of their careers, and the winner will establish himself as arguably the No. 1 fighter in boxing's glamour division," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "Fights of this caliber don't come along very often, and when they do, they deserve to be on the biggest stage possible. That's why all of us at SHOWTIME and CBS are so excited to be able to deliver this pivotal matchup to a primetime audience on America's highest-rated network."
"Last year was an amazing year for me: I headlined the very first Premier Boxing Champions show and was named PBC Fighter of the Year," Thurman said. "But this is my year to dominate the welterweight division and I'm excited to be getting ready to take out Shawn Porter. I am ready to get back in the ring and bring boxing fans what they've been looking for - the top true welterweight champion of the world, the one who is going to take out all competitors one by one. I am Keith 'One-Time' Thurman and I'm going to show you what a champion looks like on March 12."
"I'm very confident in my ability. That's why I've been looking forward to this fight because I'm someone who can beat Keith Thurman," Porter said. "Nothing about Keith really makes me nervous. I do know that he's going to be ready for this fight. He's a fighter that has the heart of a lion just like I do. I expect this to be a fight to the finish. A win over Keith Thurman is what we've been waiting for."
"Keith Thurman against Shawn Porter is one of the best matchups that can be made in the welterweight division right now and I am thrilled that it is taking place at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "The hard-punching world titleholder Thurman and the highly skilled former champion Porter will have the opportunity to prove that they are the next heir to the throne in the post-Mayweather era of the 147 pound division."
(Photo credit: Esther Lin, Showtime)
Thurman, who knocked out 18 of his first 20 opponents, is considered by many to be the one to watch, and the one to avoid. Thurman won the Interim WBA belt with a knockout of Diego Chaves in 2013 and scored consecutive knockouts over Jesus Soto Karass (2013) and Julio Diaz (2014) in his first two title defenses He won a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero and dominated former champ Luis Collazo en route to a seventh round TKO. We featured him in "Driven- Keith Thurman" last year.
Porter has continued to build his impressive resume, starting with a unanimous decision over Devon Alexander for the IBF crown in 2013. The athletically gifted fighter destroyed former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi but then suffered his lone defeat at the hands of Kell Brook. Last year he knocked out Erick Bone and then defeated the aforementioned Adrien Broner. We featured him leading up to the Broner fight in "Driven- Shawn Porter" last year as well.
This looks to be another great fight, following the fight tonight between fellow welterweights Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero, and another example of just how incredible and competitive the welterweight division has become.
Thuman vs. Porter takes place at the Mohegan Sun Casino Resort in Connecticut on Saturday, March 12th at 8:30pm, live on CBS.