Thurman, Porter talk-up June 25th Fight of the Year chances

Showtime 27/04/2016

Ed Diller

Welterweight world champion Keith Thurman and former champion Shawn Porter went face-to-face in Manhattan as they hosted a press conference to discuss their highly anticipated Saturday, June 25 showdown on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with featherweight world champion Jesus Cuellar defending his title against former three-division world champion Abner Mares.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $42, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Thurman and Porter went eye-to-eye and talked about their eagerly awaited 147-pound world title clash that takes place in primetime on June 25.

Here is what the participants had to say:


“I made you wait. But it’s worth it. This is a tremendous fight. Arguably the best matchup of the year. We’re going to work our butts off to make it the Fight of the Year.

“Our two teams go way back. This is the most beautiful moment of my professional career and I’m about to compete with somebody I grew up with. I’m happy for my success and I’m happy for Shawn’s success. We come from the same boat. When you’re a young kid in the gym training and then you’re here today, that takes a special kind of person. Shawn and I are both that kind of person.

“We took six weeks off after my accident, with three days a week of physical therapy. I was relaxing at home. I didn’t like it. As a fighter, I wanted this fight as bad as the fans wanted this fight.

“Get your tickets. Get your seats. Get your popcorn. Whatever you need to do. This is going to be a fight you don’t want to miss. This is going to be a knockout you don’t want to miss. I love you Shawn, but I’m doing my best to put you to sleep.”


“I’m very excited about this fight. I’m blessed to have this opportunity. Not only to go for this title but to be a part of a record-breaking show at Barclays Center. This night is going to be memorable.

“Keith Thurman is bringing out the competitiveness in me to a level I’ve always wanted. It’s a level I expect. I have a guy next to me who is challenging me more than ever. Me and Keith Thurman are going to put on a show. Everything you talked about, you’re going to get it.

“I’m not changing anything in camp because of how familiar Keith and I are with each other. I have to do it at the right time in the ring. We’re going to do everything we do to prepare for a world championship fight.

“Thurman is a little unorthodox at times so we’re prepared for that. It’s about going 12 rounds or less and looking good doing it. We’ve done a little sparring as pros but nothing as competitive as I’m expecting on June 25.

“I have a feeling Keith is going to say he’s knocking me out a lot. I want to know if he believes that. He’s a cutthroat kind of fighter. I know that. The hands will be up, the defense will be taken care of, and we’re taking care of business.”

DAN BIRMINGHAM, Thurman’s Trainer

“We’re looking forward to this fight. Me, Keith and the Porters go way back, but sometimes you have to fight your friends.

“These two guys are both at the top of their games and the best man is going to win.”

KEN PORTER, Porter’s Father & Trainer

“Dan Birmingham is actually one of my mentors and I’ve been watching Keith since he was 14-years-old. We’re all friends but to have the opportunity on this stage, I don’t think we can have better competitors as fighter and trainer. I don’t think it can reach a higher level.

“I fully expect the immovable object versus the irresistible force meeting in the ring for an explosion on June 25.”

LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment

“Aside from being two of the very best at their weight class, these are two of the more interesting guys in boxing. These are two of the smartest and most cerebral fighters.

“This is why I’m in boxing. This is why we’re all in boxing. This is on national, free, over-the-air television and I think it’s great. We want as many people as possible to watch this fight. We want to expose people to the best our sport has to offer.

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports

“We’re in the midst of perhaps the strongest run of boxing this network has ever had. While other networks cut back on programming, we are reinvesting in the sport and giving it as big of a platform as there ever has been.

“We have the strongest lineup of any network this year. These are two of the strongest fighters in the most popular division in the sport.

“The last primetime boxing match on CBS was 1987, Ali-Spinks 1. Those are big shoes to fill. When I pitched a fight for CBS I knew I had to bring something that was incredibly strong. That is what we have on June 25. This card has come together as perfectly as anyone could have imagined.

“Two of the top five welterweights of their career battling for the top of the division. This is an event that speaks for itself. I’m proud to be involved with this event.”

BRETT YORMARK, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment

“It’s been a special time at Barclays Center the last couple of weeks. I think Barclays Center is defined by dramatic moments. When I think of this particular event, it’s going to be a dramatic moment in Brooklyn and I’m thrilled about it.

“I’m a huge boxing fan and this is one of those nights that you circle on the calendar. You need to be there. We’re off to the best pre-sale and on sale since we opened Barclays Center. We have a bit of a history already and this will be the biggest one yet.”