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Keith Thurman: The Greatest Hits

The best performances from the modern welterweight great ahead of his anticipated clash versus unbeaten 154-pound World Champion Tim Tszyu Saturday, March 30 in Las Vegas, live on PBC on Prime Video pay-per-video.

On Saturday, March 30, former two-time world champion Keith “One Time” Thurman takes on hard-hitting undefeated WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion Tim Tszyu at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The bout headlines the inaugural PBC Pay-Per-View on Prime Video (8pm ET/5 pm PT). For Thurman, the fight represents so much more. Once the king of the welterweight division, injuries slowed Thurman’s run. He has fought only once since losing a thrilling split decision to the legendary Manny Pacquiao in 2019. In February 2022, he made his anticipated return and showed no signs of rust, dominating former 140-pound world champion and current welterweight contender Mario Barrios via 12-round unanimous decision.

Now 35, Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) now takes on Australia’s Tszyu in a fight that promises fireworks. As Thurman prepares for the next chapter in his storied career, here is a look at five of his greatest performances.

5
MANNY PACQUIAO

Date: July 20, 2019

Location: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV

Records at the time: Thurman 29-0 (22 KOs), Pacquiao 61-7-2 (39 KOs)

Result: Pacquiao SD12 (115-112, 115-112, 114-113)

Significance: One might not consider a loss among their five greatest performances but this was the great Pacquiao that Thurman was facing and the scores could have easily gone the other way. In fact, if not for Pacquiao scoring a flash knockdown in the first, this might have been a decisive win for Thurman.

 

Instead, Pacquiao handed Thurman his only defeat as a pro in what was a thrilling Fight of the Year candidate. Pacquiao got off to a hot start but Thurman slowly worked his way back in the fight. By the middle rounds, the momentum had shifted. But just when it seemed Thurman was on his way to victory, Pacquiao roared back in the 10th round, hurting Thurman with a vicious body shot. Thurman closed strong, rocking the Filipino Senator in the championship rounds but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.

4
JESUS SOTO KARASS

Date: December 14, 2013

Location: The Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

Records at the time: Thurman 21-0 (19 KOs), Karass 28-8-3 (18 KOs)

Result: Thurman KO9

Significance: Thurman made the first defense of his WBA interim welterweight title against Mexico’s Jesus Soto-Karass with an impressive ninth-round stoppage win on the Adrien Broner-Marcos Maidana card. Soto Karass shocked the American with hard right hands in the first. Thurman remained posed and found his footing. The rout was on.

 

Thurman scored a knockdown in the fifth with a right-left combination. He closed the show in the ninth, landing vicious shots that left Soto Karass out on his feet before he hit the deck. Five punches in succession forced referee Jon Schorle to stop the massacre.

3
MARIO BARRIOS

Date: February 5, 2022

Location: Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV

Records at the time: Thurman 29-1 (22 KOs), Barrios 25-1 (17 KOs)

Result: Thurman UD12 (117-111, 118-110, and 118-110)

Significance: Thurman was fighting for the first time in 30 months, his first fight since the Pacquiao defeat. Thurman showed no signs of rust as he dominated and battered the former 140-pound titlist to win a convincing unanimous decision in a PBC pay-per-view main event.

 

Barrios was game and had his moments, but Thurman seized control and never relinquished it. A left hook in the third rocked Barrios, causing him to back up. Thurman’s speed, power and boxing ability were simply too much.  A right hand in the eighth opened a cut over Barrios’ left eyelid. Barrios showed heart, briefly hurting Thurman late but by the 12th, it was clear he needed a knockout to win. It wasn’t to be as Thurman’s exceptional movement and footwork blunted his efforts.

 

“This was a comeback fight after two and a half years away,” said Thurman. “I wish I had my best performance, but I did the best I could under the circumstances. “I grade this performance a C+ or B- for myself.”

2
SHAWN PORTER

Date: June 25, 2016

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Records at the time: Thurman 26-0 (21 KOs), Porter 25-1-1 (16 KOs)

Results: Thurman UD12 (115-113 x3)

Significance: In a dramatic fight filled with a remarkable display of skill and stamina, the judges sided with Keith Thurman’s boxing ability and cleaner shots, rewarding him with a close unanimous decision to retain his WBA welterweight title.

 

A former titleholder, Porter was relentless, looking to test the durability and fitness of Thurman from the opening bell and never letting up. But the champion proved he was up to the test with brilliant boxing ability. Thurman managed to wobble Porter with a left hook in the fourth and cut his longtime friend over his left eye with another series of power shots. Porter returned the favor with a left hook to the body in the eighth round which hurt Thurman but the latter recovered to land series of left hooks to get back into the round.

 

Both men exchanged vicious shots in the ninth round but Thurman troubled Porter with a left hook in the 10th round which almost a knockdown. Porter remained upright and the two slugged it over the final two rounds much to the delight of the New York crowd. In the end, Thurman had his hand raised but there were no losers on this night and the biggest winner of all were the fans.

1
DANNY GARCIA

Date: March 4, 2017

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Records at the time: Thurman 27-0 (22 KOs), Garcia 33-0 (19 KOs)

Results: Thurman SD12 (113-115, 116-112, 115-113)

Significance: It was a fight fans were clamoring for: two prime, undefeated world champions with dynamite fists—and bad blood—squaring off in a title unification bout. A then-record 16,533 showed up at Barclays Center. The peak audience for the PBC-SHOWTIME event on CBS reached 5.1 million viewers, the largest audience for a primetime boxing broadcast since 1998. In the end, Thurman became the WBC and WBA welterweight world champion via close decision.

 

Thurman promised to bring the fight to the Garcia and he didn’t disappoint, winging power shots in the first. A left hook caught the attention of the steel-chinned Garcia, followed by a hard right hand that forced him to clinch. Garcia came alive in the middle rounds, landing his trademark left hook downstairs and displaying elite counterpunching ability. Thurman wisely picked his shots in the late frames, doing enough to stifle Garcia’s comeback and walk away as the unified welterweight world champion.

 

“I thought I outboxed him.” said Thurman. “I thought it was a clear victory, but Danny came to fight.  I knew when it was split and I had that widespread, I knew it had to go to me.”

 

For a closer look at Keith Thurman, check out his fighter page.




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