By: William Holmes
HBO World Championship Boxing was broadcast tonight from Ontario, California at the Citizen’s Bank Arena and featured two bouts between contenders in the crowded but lucrative junior middleweight and welterweight divisions.
The first bout of the night was between the Puerto Rican veteran Carlos Quintana (29-3) and undefeated American prospect Keith Thurman (18-0) in the junior middleweight division.
The first round started off with a bang, as a left hook by Thurman knocked Quintana down. Quintana was barely able to beat the count of ten. After the knockdown, Quintana fought tentatively and was backpedaling, looking to survive. Thurman landed sold body shots and straight right hands in rounds two and three.
In round four, a left hook by Thurman hurt Quintana badly and had him stumbling backwards towards the ropes. Thurman jumped on Quintana and landed several hard combinations that made Quintana more wobbly then before. Thurman landed another hook landed and the referee called off the fight at 2:19 of the fourth round.
Keith Thurman wins the NABO Junior Middleweight Championship at 2:19 of the fourth round. Thurman looked good tonight, but Quintana’s best days are far behind him.
Thurman had previously stated that he has the ability to give Floyd Mayweather Jr. his first loss. This time Keith Thurman called out the world of boxing.
Although many cynics predicted doom for Thurman when he took a big step up in opposition against Quintana, the David Haye lookalike passed the test with flying colors (though his opponent has seen his better days in the boxing profession).
A ten count was given to the late Hector Camacho prior to the start of the main event, in what sadly seems like a weekly occurrence.
The main event was between Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (30-1) and Andre Berto (28-1) for the WBC Interim Welterweight Title. This bout was heavily anticipated by many boxing fans, since both Berto and Guerrero are known to deliver exciting fights for the fans.
Tonight, neither Berto nor Guerrero disappointed the fans in attendance and watching on TV.
Berto came out in the first round by employing a shoulder roll defensive style similar to that of Adrien Broner. A straight left hand by Guerrero hurt Berto and sent him to the ground. It appeared that Guerrero may have held the back of Berto’s head when he landed his punch, but the referee ruled it a knockdown.
Berto went down again the second round from a left uppercut to the chin. His eye was also almost completely swollen shut. From round three to the end of the fight, Guerrero stayed in tight and kept the fight inside a phone booth. Guerrero wore down Berto with short body shots and eventually closed his other eye. Nevertheless, Berto had a solid performance in rounds four, five, six, and ten. Guerrero was bleeding from his nose by round eight and had his own right eye completely shut by round nine.
Berto was coming on at the end of the fight, but his heart and will was unable to overcome the early point advantage Guerrero had gained. Berto did land several flush uppercuts on Guerrero, but Guerrero was able to take those punches and not let them visibly affect him.
The last round was action-packed and both fighters left everything in the ring. Guerrero landed several punches after the last bell of the last round, but the referee should have done a better job of informing the fighters that the fight was over.
In the end, Guerrero’s two early knockdowns were too much for Berto to overcome. All three judges scored it 116-110 for Robert Guerrero.