In a fight that wound up living up to expectations in the end, Keith Thurman dropped and then survived Robert Guerrero over 12 rounds tonight on PBC on NBC, winning on wide scores in a fight where he had to earn every point. Thurman took the decision on scores of 120-107, 118-109, and 118-108. BLH had it 118-109 for Thurman.
Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KO) came out aggressive early, as did Thurman (25-0, 21 KO), but it was Thurman who was able to take control pretty quickly, sharpshooting from the outside with lead right hands and some solid left hooks. He landed a number of telling blows on Guerrero, whose first glimmer of real hope came when an accidental headbutt in round two, developing a pretty sizable hematoma on Thurman's forehead, near the hairline.
But Thurman's corner did a good job keeping the swelling in check, and allowing Thurman to focus on the matter at hand without any distraction from the injury. Thurman continued to pick Guerrero off at a comfortable range, then dropped him hard in round nine.
Guerrero, though, wasn't done, even though it looked like he was probably out. After getting up with a newly bloodied face, Guerrero weathered Thurman's round nine storm and then came back hard for the rest of the fight, showing a ton of heart and desire as he battled with a tiring Thurman, whose work had started to pile up on his legs.
Thurman stayed away quite a bit in the final two rounds of the fight, but still was able to land shots and keep Guerrero from doing significant damage. He had to survive, and he had to earn it, but he did both, and he got a well-deserved win over a very tough contender.
"Robert Guerrero was a tremendous warrior. He showed it today. He was a little more calm, I thought he was going to press harder in the early rounds. But we were able to knock him down late. I know we were hurting him each and every round, but he's a veteran. He knew how to place himself. This was a great fight and a tremendous learning experience," Thurman told NBC's Kenny Rice after the fight.
"I'd rather go out on my back asleep than just not continue, so I always come through and I keep fighting my heart out. That's what the fans love about me, is I pour my heart and soul into this. I just can't wait to get back in the ring and give America more beautiful fights like this," Guerrero told Rice.
"He fought one of the toughest fighters, a good fighter, a smart fighter. He was good on his feet. We just have to get back to work," Guerrero's father and trainer Ruben added.