Keith Thurman has seen far scarier things in his life than Terence Crawford’s stoppage of Shawn Porter.
The former welterweight titleholder from Clearwater, Florida is poised to break his cycle of inactivity by returning to the ring against Mario Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) on Feb. 5 at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on Fox Pay-Per-View. Thurman has not fought since his points loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2019.
Never one to miss a consequential welterweight match, Thurman tuned into the Crawford-Porter welterweight title fight in November, which ended with Crawford stopping Porter in the 10th round after scoring two knockdowns. It was the first time that Porter had ever been stopped inside the ring.
“I was a little surprised, but I wasn’t surprised,” Thurman said of the fight in an interview with FightHubTV. “Shawn consistently was doing what he was doing without any changes or adjustments and, for Crawford, that allowed him to capitalize and settle in. It was a great performance by both fighters. Crawford definitely had to battle it out, he definitely had to endure.”
“The beauty is that [Craword] did make a statement by being the first person to stop Shawn Porter, but for whatever reason it wasn’t terrifying. All the commentators from ESPN were saying that everybody was moving up to ’54. It was not scary. It was not a rated R movie. I’m not frightened. If anything, I believe I present more than what Shawn did. Of course, we know that Terence Crawford is a talented individual. We know that there is an uncrowned king in the welterweight division. That’s why it’s uncrowned. Don’t go crowning anybody yet. Let’s make these fights happen.”
Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) says Crawford took over in the second half of the fight when the pace of the fight began to slow down.
“I thought Crawford was really trying to land counters, he was whipping quick check hooks and missing them, whipping uppercuts and missing them,” Thurman explained. “And then as the rounds went on I saw both fighters slow down and when Crawford actually slowed down he was better because he was actually able to hit the target now. When he was being flinchy and reactive, he wasn’t as accurate. When he settled down a bit, five rounds went by you’re going to naturally slow down to a degree, his timing got activated. He wasn’t flinching, he was placing. I started to see that shift around the fifth, sixth round.”
Thurman, however, disagreed with the notion that Porter was in tiptop shape. Again, he pointed the finger at the ESPN commentators.
“Shawn didn’t really seem like he was in the best shape,” Thurman said. “You ask the commentators from ESPN and they said that was the greatest performance of Shawn Porter’s career, and I beg to differ. Not just because I fought Shawn Porter but I believe his performances against Thurman, and his performance against Errol Spence [were better]. Especially the Spence fight…I thought that was one of his best performances of his career, even though he fell short of victory in that fight.”