June 25, 2016
June 25, 2016
Keith Thurman

Esther Lin/Showtime

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KEITH THURMAN and Shawn Porter made weight Friday (June 24) for their WBA welterweight title fight. Thurman scaled 146lbs while Porter hit the 147lbs limit.

In the build up to the fight Thurman said: “It’s an honor to be on this platform. I’m excited to be back at Barclays Center. My last fight at Barclays Center was the first time I felt the fans give me love and I felt like I made it.

“I’m excited to feel the energy in the arena. We’re recovered and we’re ready. We did what we needed to so that we’re ready for Saturday night.

“As I think about this fight, these are dreams coming true for me. Sometimes I feel like I’m living a dream. I think about how I was raised by Ben Getty to this moment. Ben used to say that my moment was ‘right around the corner,’ and now it’s here. He was a wise man and he knew what he was talking about.

“This is a great fight. This is what the boxing fans want to see. I truly believe you are looking at two of the best welterweights in the world.

“I’m here as an entertainer. I’m here for the love of the sport. The fans want to see these kinds of fights. It’s obvious in the welterweight division that we are the two most exciting and devastating fighters in the division.

“Everybody kept talking about the sparring video, so I just decided to put it out. Sparring is sparring and fighting is fighting. This fight will be judged and this time I’ll have eight-ounce gloves on.

“It’s always been my dream to be the undisputed champion of the world.

“I’m looking forward to a great performance. I’m excited to a great challenge from Shawn Porter. There is a burning desire within myself to have a knockout victory. It’s hard to make world-class fighters quit. The fans ultimately want to see that knockout victory.

“There are real stakes are on the line this Saturday night. Our careers are on the line. My title is on the line. My undefeated record is on the line. It’s a great fight and a great matchup.

“I do believe that with each and every fight, you step up, you step up and you step up. So, thus the stakes are always higher and there are those times where you get a decent fight. But like I said, this is a great fight at a great moment of both athletes’ careers. We are both in our prime. I’m 27-years-old, Shawn is 28-years-old, we’ve both accomplished many great things and a victory on Saturday night is just going to be another thing to add to the resume.

“This really is the best fight of the best. We’re trying to satisfy the fans and we’re trying to challenge ourselves, push ourselves, and see where we fit in and how great we really are. I’m going to show you Saturday night how great Keith “One Time” Thurman really is.

“Just like Ali said, Saturday night, I’m going to show you how great I am.”

Shawn Porter said: “It’s here. It’s been long anticipated and it’s here. I have never been more excited to fight in my life. It’s a blessing. Along this journey I’ve been able to learn the basics and excel in the basics and I found myself in a position where I’ve been able to be very successful.

“My hometown Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA title is definitely a motivation. It motivates me to be a winner. I want to bring this belt back to Ohio.

“I’m looking forward to this kind of moment to shine. That’s how you gain notoriety and become bigger. There’s no pressure, just excitement.

“I’m just looking forward to getting in there and getting that energetic feeling. I want to feel the excitement of getting into the ring and all the adrenaline that rushes through.

“This is the fight I wanted. I wanted to have fun training for a fight like this. Keith has made it possible. He’s so good it pushes me to be better.

“This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time that two friends fight. I’m done talking about us being friends because it’s time for us to start punching each other. My plan is to have great defense, avoid getting hit and win the fight.

“I didn’t take much time off after the postponement. We tried to train and stay ready through the cancellation. You never know when the phone is going to ring. We just wanted to stay in shape, get better and be ready for anything.

“I feel like if Floyd Mayweather comes back, he should fight the winner of this matchup. I believe that will be me.

“I’m not going to go in there looking for a knockout and throw my hands wildly. I’m going to keep up the pace that I normally keep up. I’m a great boxer. People consider me a boxer, but I may surprise you.”