Undefeated interim WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (23-0, 21 KO’s) faces off against another undefeated fighter on Saturday, December 13 in Leonard Bundu (31-0-1, 11 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WBC has Bundu ranked at #3, while the WBA has him as #4.
Bundu is fresh off of a 12-round split decision victory over the previously unbeaten Frankie Gavin this past August. Bundu came in as the underdog, as Gavin was fighting in his own country and certainly was the fan favorite.
Bundu might be 40 years old, but his style is awkward, awkward enough that it can make a fight that looks like a mismatch on paper, just a little bit more interesting or challenging for that matter.
Thurman will need a convincing victory over Bundu to maintain his spot in the Floyd Mayweather Jr. sweepstakes.
One thing that Thurman will have a significant advantage coming into Saturday, is punching power.
Bundu’s punches are not likely going to hurt Thurman much, but little bee sting after bee sting, which can make a fighter like Thurman, irritated. We saw in August how frustrated he made Frankie Gavin, which in turn made it more of a wrestling match than a boxing match.
With that being said, who is going to win it? Let’s roll.
Round 1: A damaging cross lands for Thurman and he is going after the body early. Bundu is hurt, but manages to land with a short combination. It did not hurt Thurman, but it slowed down his pace a bit. A huge hook from Thurman sends Bundu into the ropes.
Round 1 Winner: Thurman 10-9
Round 2: Thurman scores with the cross, but the damage was limited, as Bundu is using a lot of head movement. Bundu sneaks a jab in. Bundu ties him up. Thurman lands a strong cross to the body and follows it up with a brutal hook to the head that nearly spun Bundu’s head around. Bundu scores with the jab and follows it up with a short cross and backs away. Bundu doubles up on the jab and Thurman scores with another strong cross to the midsection.
Round 2 Winner: Thurman 20-18 Thurman
Round 3: Thurman lands a thudding combination to the body and Bundu is hurt and has to tie up. Bundy managed to land an uppercut during that exchange. Thurman lands the lead cross and follows it up with another damaging hook. Bundu is hurt again and lands a cross in desperation mode. Thurman lands another right hand. Bundu lands a combination to the body. Thurman scores with another poweful hook to the jaw. Bundu’s right eye is swelling considerably.
Round 3 Winner: Thurman 30-27 Thurman
Round 4: Bundu is trying to keep the distance in the fourth round, landing with a jab and a two-punch combination. Thurman lands a huge combination that buckles Bundu. The swelling is getting worse as Bundu begins to circle around the ring. Bundu lands with the left and follows it up with a right as Thurman continues to stalk, landing a short cross. Thurman ties up Bundu and they both exchange flurries to end the round.
Round 4 Winner: Thurman 40-36 Thurman
Round 5: Thurman lands with a nasty hook and follows it up with a powerful straight right hand. Bundu is hurt again. Thurman splits Bundu’s gloves with the uppercut and Bundu lands a big straight left of his own. Bundu scores with the cross and the hook to the head of Thurman. Both fighters are going at it at the center of the ring, blow for blow. Bundu got the better of it.
Round 5: Bundu 49-46 Thurman
Round 6: Bundu scores with the uppercut and a quick jab. Thurman appears that he’s waiting for Bundu to leave himself open. Thurman nails Bundu with a hard combination and he goes down to the canvas. He is not going to be able to make it up and Keith Thurman has knocked out Leonard Bundu in the sixth round.
Winner: Keith Thurman KO 6