In easily the biggest fight of his young career, Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) used a combination of speed and procession to score a hard-fought unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs) Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The scores were 120-107 and 118-109 (twice).
Maxboxing and Doghouseboxing had Thurman winning 117-110.
Thurman set the pace in the opening stanza. He jumped on Guerrero--and seconds later, landed a stinging combination. A right hand lead also connected.
Guerrero, a southpaw, clipped Thurman with blows to the body. Thurman utilized his lead right a number or more times in the round. He also went to the body.
Thurman continued his blistering pace in rounds two and three. A hard blow seemed to momentarily hurt the iron chinned Guerrero. Thurman’s hand speed was overwhelming Guerrero on a consistent basis.
Guerrero was pawing with his blows. He looked a little confused. A head butt created a ugly lump on Thurman’s forehead. Guerrero tried to capitalize, but Thurman ended the round strongly.
In rounds four and five, Thurman kept working upstairs and down. The key continued to be the southpaws nightmare, the right hand. Guerrero, though, is very tough. He took the shots and battled back.
Thurman, 26, was getting off first, but Guerrero wasn’t going anywhere.
Guerrero, 31, was a little more aggressive in round six. He stalked, but Thurman kept beating him to the punch. A big left hook connected. Guerrero just missed with a right cross. Thurman landed some powerful blows in the last seconds of the stanza.
Thurman mixed up his punches effectively in rounds seven and eight. He was outboxng Guerrero. He jabbed and moved away.
Guerrero just couldn’t land anything of significance. Thurman was connecting with the harder blows. He proved his point in round nine. A blistering right uppercut floored Guerrero for the second time in his career. Guerrero got up--and survived a number of vicious shots.
Guerrero, bloody but unbowed, connected with a big left that surprised Thurman in round 10. There was no quit in the Gilroy, CA. warrior. He pummeled Thurman on the ropes. Thurman rallied back at the end of heat.
The last two frames were intense. Guerrero had turned into Rocky Balboa. He chased after Thurman. A combination landed. Thurman fought back at the bell. Guerrero marched after Thurman in the last round. He worked him over on the ropes. Guerrero landed a big left that knocked Thurman backwards.
Thurman came back with a shot of his own. Both boxers were weary as the bell sounded ending the fight.
“I felt good,” said Thurman. “He’s a veteran. This was a great experience for Keith Thurman.”