Exclusive: Thurman-Porter sparring footage

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After months of pent-up excitement, fans finally get to see one of boxing’s biggest treats of 2016. Welterweights Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are set to battle for the WBA world title tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., presented by Premier Boxing Champions on CBS.

What fans might not have known is that these two gentlemen have duked it out before — in the gym.

Tha Boxing Voice obtained exclusive footage of a Thurman-Porter sparring session from 2013. While it’s obviously foolish to draw too many conclusions based on sparring, the video provides a glimpse into how the fight might pan out.

It’s pretty much what you’d expect: Porter attempting to bull his way in, while Thurman uses his boxing skills and counter-punching ability. It’s a pattern that could easily develop in tonight’s 12-round affair.

Thurman blessed Tha Boxing Voice with his analysis of the sparring session.

“The purpose of a counterpunch is to put your fighter and make them timid,” Thurman told Tha Boxing Voice’s Nestor Gibbs. “Make them timid to come in. He gets caught with a few right uppercuts, he gets caught with a few left hooks, he’s going to have to be a bull. He’s going to have to not listen that voice in the back of his head that lets him know, ‘Hey, you got caught last time. You got caught the time before that.’ He’s going to have to keep pushing and push through that, and get me before I get him. It’s going to be a great fight, baby.”

“At the end of the day, he who wins seven rounds, won 12 rounds,” Thurman said. “If it’s not a knockout fight, it’s a seven-round fight.”

Thurman was sporting some scratches on his face, but explained that they didn’t come from training.

“I couldn’t spar because of this,” he said. “This was from my dog fight. I was playing with my dogs and they got jealous of one another and they fought right on top of me. I was laying down on the floor.”

Tune in to CBS tonight for one of the most anticipated PBC fights ever, which will certainly help sort out the top dogs at 147 pounds. And speaking of “top dogs,” if Thurman can muster a win over over Porter, he’ll find that position a little less painful than being underneath two of them.