by David P. Greisman
Lou DiBella will often have a front-row seat as the welterweight division shakes out.
DiBella, one of the promoters who works on cards involving adviser Al Haymon’s many fighters, is the promoter of record for Saturday night’s CBS “Premier Boxing Champions” broadcast featuring welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman against former titleholder Shawn Porter.
In the wake of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao being retired — whether they remain so is another topic — there are many boxers at 147 who want to take their place, several of whom are with Haymon. Thurman and Porter are just two of them.
“The winner is going to have a claim to say, ‘Hey, I’m the guy that’s following in the steps of Mayweather,” DiBella said on Friday after the Thurman-Porter weigh-in. “You have a division filled with real top-notch talent that all want to fight one another. I’m very optimistic about what this fight means for boxing. I think it’s going to be a great fight. I’m a fan. I’m not sure who’s going to win.”
He then gave his take on the bout.
“Thurman’s a tremendously hard puncher. Tremendous power. Physical strength,” DiBella said. “Shawn’s a little bit more of a technician. If the fight goes 12 rounds, it’s in Shawn Porter’s favor. I also think you can see any possible result here. Either guy can knock the other out. Either guy can win by decision.
“But if you really assess their general strengths, you have to assess just Thurman’s sheer physicality, his tremendous power for his weight, his aggressiveness and his ability to hurt you to the body and to the head,” he said. “And Porter is a student of the game. His dad is a great teacher. I think you assess his advantage as being more technical and maybe forcing Thurman out of his game plan a little bit, making Thurman box, making Thurman move.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]