Keith Thurman Salutes Shawn Porter: “You Were My Number One Rival”

Keith Thurman Moved by Shawn Porter's Retirement

Keith Thurman speaks highly of Shawn Porter
Keith Thurman speaks highly of Shawn Porter

Keith Thurman Moved by Shawn Porter’s Retirement

Back on June 25, 2016 welterweight fighter Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KO’s) staged a fantastic bout with “Showtime” Shawn Porter (31-4-1, 17 KO’s). Once face-to-face in the belly of Brooklyn’s Barclay Center, the two waged a meaningful tit-for-tat, edge of your seat war. One Time would go on to win that contest by way of unanimous decision victory. It was arguably the best win of his career.

Understandably, at that point in time, Thurman was considered the crème of the 147-pound crop. A great deal has changed since then! When One Time held and defended his title against Porter, Errol Spence Jr (IBF and WBC) was one year, Terence Crawford (WBO) was two years, and Yordenis Ugas (WBA super) was five years away from first becoming welterweight champion.


Following his high-brow brawl with Porter, Thurman fought and bested Danny Garcia by way of a decisive unanimous decision. Sadly the good times came to a screeching halt as the verbose Floridian found himself plagued with injury. Those various ailments kept him out of the ring for roughly two years. Yet, while he was wounded, One Time was not finished. Thurman first returned in a somewhat lackluster prizefight, on January 26, 2019, versus Josesito Lopez. He would go on to win by majority decision.

Six months later, One Time contracted the biggest fight of his professional career versus Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao. Unfortunately for him, Thurman went on to be dropped and became another flashy scalp collected by Pac Man. It also stood as the first loss of his professional career. After the sour setback, One Time slipped back into obscurity. Now, just shy of three years of complete ring inactivity, One Time is looking to mount a return to form versus Mario Barrios.


Given his rather abrupt fall from grace, many have questioned Thurman’s desire to continue in the sport. Countless fans and media members felt as though Thurman was content to ride off in the sunset with his millions and new bride. However, the former world champion will be the first to tell you that he has retained a great deal of hunger for boxing. Unsurprisingly, as he told Fight Hub TV, One Time was heavily influenced by Porter’s retirement.

“It really hit home to get Shawn Porter’s announcement. Salute Shawn, you know you had a tremendous career, you did many great things. You were a great rival, you’ve been my number one rival for many years, in and outside of the ring. Suit game, everything baby. So mad love and many blessings to you and your beautiful children in your future.

But it really hit home for me because, at the age of 33, I remind myself daily that I’m closer to retirement today than I’ve ever been in my professional career.”

Luckily for the boxing public, we can see what form One Time is in as soon as February 5, when he dances with Mario Barrios. So let’s wait and see if Thurman can reestablish himself as a titan in the division or if he is forcibly relegated to the inconsequential outskirts of the welterweight landscape.

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By: Bakari Simpson

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Bakari is a Senior Writer for Visit to view more of his literary work.