On Saturday night at Las Vegas’ showplace of boxing, the MGM Grand, Keith “One Time” Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) scored an impressive 12 round unanimous decision victory over the former world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs) in defense of Thurman’s WBA welterweight title. In the first primetime boxing show on NBC in 30 years and in front of a substantial crowd (the reported attendance was 10,106) it was a good start for the new promotion team.
As he normally does, Thurman came out aggressively and took the fight to Guerrero. Even after a third round, unintentional head butt left Thurman with swelling atop his left forehead, nothing could stop a fighter of his ilk. Even after the winner became obvious, both boxers remained busy and committed to giving the fans a great show.
In the most telling round, round nine, after giving Guerrero a blow to the midsection, Thurman connected with two lightning fast right uppercuts and followed with a left hook to the chin which sent Guerrero falling backwards to the canvas. After beating the count, you could see Guerrero not only had a nasty cut over his left eye, he was also a bit woozy. Upon resumption, Guerrero found himself in retreat and covering up in his opponent’s corner where he had to weather an additional 15 blows before the bell sounded.
In the last three rounds, Guerrero (Spanish translation “Warrior”) lived up to that moniker by giving it everything he had. Scores were 120-107, 118-109, 118-108, all for Thurman.
From the after-fight press conference and our direct contact came the following quotes:
From the Thurman camp: “The hematoma that left the nasty bump on Keith Thurman’s head on Saturday night has been drained and the blood has now collected down around his eye which is swollen shut. But they’re saying Keith couldn’t be any happier.”
Guerrero: “I didn’t win the fight, but I think I won the heart of America. This is the type of stuff the boxing fans like. They want to see fights. They want to see guys that come and exchange and throw combinations and they let their punches go and they’re not scared to get hit. That’s what I came out and did, and to be able to do that on NBC and for all the fans around the world, and people that are not boxing fans, it’s nice.”
As stated in the header above, the Co-main event involving Mr. Broner turned out to be a groaner
Most fans were not pleased with Adrian “Pot shot and cruise” Broner’s performance against John Molina Jr.
Doing ringside commentary, former world champion Sugar Ray Leonard questioned Broner’s heart and wondered why he didn’t act more like a champion and go for the TKO or knockout. It was reminiscent of the times when Howard Cosell would criticize Mohammad Ali for getting on his bike, being such a clown and not wanting to fight more seriously.
On Saturday night, the boos came loud and often from an unappreciative crowd. A sampling from these rants:
“After the flirtation round, aren’t you supposed to start fighting?”
“Broner’s so clever, he’s making that other guy look stupid.”
“That was no more than an extended sparring session.”
By whining to the referee for preferential treatment, being so elusive, being masterful as it pertains to quick hands, holding and covering up, using stall tactics and the grunts to impress the judges, plus scurrying about like an uncatchable butterfly, he kind of reminds you of the fake wrestlers or better yet the character Road Runner in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. Little if any love is ever given to his antagonist, Wile E. Coyote who is thought to be sorry-looking, a living, breathing allegory of Want. In each cartoon, he is made to look hungry, while the super hero, aka Adrian Broner, is perceived to be without any weaknesses.
Broner might want to be likened to Road Runner to attract an even larger following, or perhaps he’s just as happy playing the part of the bad guy as the haters keep piling up and more importantly keep buying tickets as they lay in wait for the night when someone beats the snot out of him.
In the remaining seven bouts (the undercard) there was not one upset and five of the seven fights ended early with a TKO.