Thurman (27-0, 22 KO’s) retained his WBA title with a close unanimous decision win on three scorecards of 115-113. But both men gave a valiant effort and ended the fight covered in credibility along with battle scars.. Porter’s perpetual motion style yet often ineffective aggression was Taylor made for Thurman’s powerful counterpunches. Thurman had a edge in power punches landed but Porter was the busier fighter throughout the most part of the fight..
Porter (26-2-1, 16 KO’s) started the fight aggressively by coming forward with combinations but Thurman soon connected with well placed counters.. Porter hurt Thurman with body punches in the second and backed Thurman into the ropes unloading with a series of shots. Thurman remained composed and punched back , utilising the uppercut. Porter was stunned after he walked into a hard, straight right as he exchanged with Thurman along the ropes at the end of the third. Porter slowed down in the fourth as Thurman began to connect with more effective, harder shots.
The fifth was a closer affair, as both men tried to impose their styles on the other. Porter did good body work while Thurman landed the heavier shots. Porter was more aggressive in the sixth as Thurman looked for single shots.. Both fighters connected with hard shots in the seventh as the fast pace continued. Porter continued to come forward aggressively through the eighth as he again outworked Thurman.
Thurman was badly hurt in the ninth and received a nasty cut over his left eye, the champion tried to trade in response but it was unwise as it played into porters game, responding with flurries to the head and body while pushing him back into the ropes. Thurman returned well, however, and rocked Porter toward the end of the tenth and jumped on the advantage. But after missing some wide power shots, Porter turned the tide and ended the round pounding Thurman in the corner. Porter appeared to slow in the eleventh to conserve energy for the final round allowing Thurman the opportunity to steal the round.. Both fighters appeared spent in the 12th and they split the round on all the official cards with Porter earning it on two and Thurman winning it on the third.
“I want to thank Shawn Porter for a tremendous fight, he’s a great warrior,” Thurman said right after the fight ended. “Defense is the key to victory. He smothers his punches a lot and makes it difficult for the judges to score. I was able to rock him with clear, effective blows and I believe that was the difference today.”
This fight is definitely a candidate for 2016 fight of the year, both guys respectful of the other and in agreement that it could have easily gone either way. I happened to have my unofficial scorecard as a draw, I'm sure no one would complain seeing this one again..