By Tom Donelson / Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)
This weekend (NBC TV) Keith Thurman faces off against Robert Guerrero for what is called the interim WBA championship so I guess this is for a belt even though WBA also has Floyd Mayweather as the unified champion. So who knows and who cares, the winner will receive a belt and be able to declare himself a champion.
For Thurman, this could be his toughest fight as Guerrero has some of the best in the business and is one of the toughest fighters. Guerrero began his career as a boxer, thus the nick name “Ghost”, but as he moved up in weight; he changed his style from being a boxer to being a banger. Guerrero has only two losses, one that he revenged against Gamaliel Diaz and to Floyd Mayweather.
Thurman is a boxer-puncher with 21 knockouts along with 24 victories without a loss. Thurman has a knockout punch but he can also box. Thurman has the skills to win but he will have to keep this being a brawl as Guerrero has no problem of fighting off Thurman chest. Interesting enough, Guerrero is the taller fighter by a half-inch so the question is whether Guerrero would like to turn this into a boxing match but in his last fight against Yoshihiro Kamegai; Guerrero turned what should have been an easy fight into a brawl. Thurman has the skills to win this bout but Guerrero will test Thurman mettle.
Adrien Broner continues his journey back to the elite status and he faces a tough John Molinia, Jr. Since his lost to Maidana, he won an easy decision over Carlos Molina and a tough decision over Emanuel Taylor. Molina has lost two fights in a row including Lucas Matthysse where both men sent each other to canvas twice but Matthysse’s power prevailed. Molina is a tough fighter but Broner’s skills and quick hands should prevailed but Molina has the puncher chance.
Next weekend (Spike TV) Andre Berto faces Josesito Lopez. Berto was on his way to a possible fight with Mayweather but a tough lost to Victor Ortiz in 2011 derailed that. Berto has lost three of his last five fights and no longer one of the best but he is still fighting for one more chance at a belt. Lopez is one of those fighters who has upset some good fighters. He defeated the then undefeated Mike Dallas, Jr. and lost a tough decision to Jesse Vargas followed by an upset victory over Victor Ortiz where he broke Ortiz’s jaw. He has won four out of last six fights with losses to Marco Maidana, one of the Welterweights big punchers and Saul Alvarez. This could be an entertaining fight as Berto likes to bang and Lopez may oblige.
Shawn Porter is similar to Broner as he is attempting to return to elite status and Robert Garcia stands in his way. After Porter stopped Paul Malignaggi, he was a star on the rise but a lost his next fight to the British fine welterweight Kell Brook. This is one of those statement fights for Porter for he needs not just a victory but a big victory over a tough veteran to send the message that he is back and ready to get his championship back.
Over the next two weeks, Keith Thurman faces a tough fighter in Guerrero but a victory here would raise his stake as a potential star. Broner and Porter are fighters who need to remind fight fans they are still stars but only impressive victories will do that as both fighters want desperately to return back to the upper status.