Boxing Odds: Thurman Stands Strong Defending His Title vs. Porter

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 3:42 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2016 3:42 PM GMT

Let's peruse the boxing odds and cash a ticket for the WBA title this Saturday night when reigning champion Keith Thurman defends his crown against Shawn Porter.

Prime Time Live
It is not often we see two fighters of this caliber meet each other in the primes of their respective careers. Though this is not on a par, hype-wise, with the "Fight of the Century" (and I am using finger quotes, or scare quotes as it was presented to me recently) between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, at least we don't have to wait until both have exited their primes to watch two masters ply their trade.

The reigning WBA welterweight champ Keith Thurman (26-0, 22 KO's) is at the height of his powers at age 27 while the same can be said for his 28-year-old opponent, Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KO's). This will be the litmus test for both men and the winner will be in line for a super fight with either WBC king Danny Garcia, IBF champ Kell Brook or even the WBO's Jessie Vargas if the promoters can work harmoniously to make it happen. The beauty part of the welterweight division, as it is currently constructed, is that all the champions are between the ages of 27-30 and that makes for ideal opportunities to pit these elite pugilists against each other while they are firmly entrenched in their halcyon years.

 

Sleek Devastation vs. Relentless Pursuit
Even I am not old enough to recall with any clarity the trilogy between Muhammad Ali and "Smokin" Joe Frazier. But thanks to YouTube we can transport ourselves back to the early to mid-70's and see these monumental battles between two of the greatest heavyweights that ever graced the squared circle. I bring this up because I see similarities between the fight that will occur between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter.

As anyone who has even glimpsed Keith Thurman box, it is a combination of precise striking and then a roar of power that comes out of left field and straight to the chin of his opponent. Thurman is a pretty boxer who hits like a mule which is reminiscent of Ali in his heyday. Shawn Porter is more of a herky-jerky, ever-present stalker who muscles his way inside and does his best work to the body of his opponent before landing freely to the head once the middle has softened up, ala Joe Frazier.

This will be a clash of conflicting styles with Thurman wishing to maintain distance while Porter will be determined to close that gap, work the body and make life miserable for the champion. The risk that Porter will be taking is the ability of Thurman to stop him dead in his tracks before he draws near. Thurman is not the fleet-footed phantom in the mold of Floyd Mayweather who sticks, moves and outpoints his opponent to victory. No, Thurman is a devastating puncher and as good as he is on his feet, he is inclined to stand and trade because no one standing in front of him has been able to do it better.

 

Who Wins?
We know both fighters have the ability to turn out the lights but there is one who has a slight advantage in reach and power but a big edge in making adjustments. Keith Thurman is that guy and he already knows what Porter will bring to the table. He has been training for it and is well aware that if he allows his tenacious opponent to dictate the pace and flow of this fight then the battle is lost.

I ruminated about where I would set the boxing odds in this fight and I believe them to be a bit high on the champ. I was surprised that Thurman was -200 or better but perhaps that was just wishful thinking on my part as I believe he will be able to thwart Porter's swarming attack and punish him as he tries to get in tight. I will have to swallow hard and lay a bit more lumber than I would have liked in my boxing picks come this Saturday night but the vig is meaningless if you don't have to pay it.

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Free Boxing Pick: Keith Thurman -200 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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