The much-anticipated welterweight title fight between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter is finally coming to fruition.
A person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports that an agreement has been reached for the 147-pounders to square off for the WBA title on March 5 or March 12 in prime time on CBS (all the other fights on the nework have been in the afternoon.) The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the fight hasn’t been officially announced. That announcement will come next week, when the venue has been finalized.
The matchup will pit two of the best 147-pound fighters in the world in a can’t-miss bout, picked as one of BoxingJunkie’s five fights we need to see in 2016.
Thurman-Porter has been in the works for months, but logistics with venue, date and network have held the fight up. Porter said he was originally told it would take place in December.
“This is a great matchup for the sport, and I’m pretty sure this is what Al Haymon wants,” Thurman told USA TODAY Sports last month. ” … I believe it’s going to be a big fight. And a great fight.”
Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) is a big puncher and one of the best young talents in the sport. The 27-year-old was impressive in a decision victory over Robert Guerrero in the debut show of the Premier Boxing Champions series in March, and then defended the title with a stoppage of Luis Collazo in July. Porter would represent his toughest test yet.
Porter dominated Adrien Broner in June in a career-best victory, but the hard-charging fighter has been on the shelf since. The 28-year-old won the IBF title with a decision over Devon Alexander in December 2013. He knocked out Paulie Malignaggi in his first defense, but then lost the belt to Kell Brook via split decision.
It’s an intriguing clash of styles, with Porter, the hard-charging pressure fighter with the big right hand, and Thurman, one of the most devastating punchers in the sport who seems to improve in each and every fight.
“I’m looking to be the guy after this fight,” Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) told USA TODAY Sports. “We’ll look to push the tempo and push his heart, and make him deal with some different things. We’ve been focused on Thurman for a few months now.”
It’s shaping up to be Premier Boxing Champions’ best — and most high-profile — fight yet.
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