LOS ANGELES: Undefeated Keith Thurman will defend his World Boxing Association welterweight title against former world champ¬ion Shawn Porter in an all-American showdown next March, promoters announced on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
The bout will be staged March 12 at Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Thurman, 26-0 with 22 knockouts, will make the second defense of the title he won last March by unanimous decision over compatriot Robert Guer¬rero. Thur¬man stopped US southpaw Luis Collazo in the seventh round last July in his first title defense.
Porter, 26-1-1 with 16 knockouts, owned the International Boxing Federation version of the welterweight title until losing it in 2014 by majority decision to Britain’s undefeated Kell Brook. Porter bounced back last year with wins over Ecuador’s Erick Bone and American Adrien Broner.
Thurman, 27, and Porter, 28, hope to take charge of the welterweight division now that unbeaten Floyd Mayweather has retired.
“This is my year to dominate the welterweight division and I’m excited to be getting ready to take out Shawn Porter,” Thurman said. “I’m ready to get back in the ring and bring boxing fans what they have been looking for – the top true welterweight champion of the world, the one who is going to take out all competitors one by one.”
Porter raised his profile by beating Broner and is ready to take the next step back by becoming a champion once again.
“I’m very confident in my ability,” Porter said. “Nothing about Keith really makes me nervous. I do know that he’s going to be ready for this fight. He’s a fighter that has the heart of a lion just like I do. I expect this to be a fight to the finish. A win over Keith Thurman is what we’ve been waiting for.”