Leading up to his fight on Saturday night against Andre Berto, Shawn Porter wanted a rematch against unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman in the worst way. Porter and Thurman fought in what many boxing fans called the "Fight of the Year" back in June with Thurman winning a close decision. Thurman went on to become the unified titleholder last month, defeating Danny Garcia by unanimous decision. For Porter to get what he desired, he had to get through the former three-time welterweight champion in Berto.
Porter did his part winning by ninth-round TKO to become the mandatory challenger for Thurman.
Since that is the case, Thurman and Porter should meet in the next few months. The key word is should — and don't expect Thurman to be getting into it with Porter anytime soon.
Before Porter and Berto stepped inside the ring, Thurman was at the Showtime Boxing desk talking about what is next and who would win the main event. Thurman picked Porter to win, but when discussing who he would like to face next, Thurman mentioned the possibility of Manny Pacquiao and the winner of the May 27 showdown between IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook and the undefeated Errol Spence Jr. It was only when Thurman came into the ring that he mentioned facing Porter. Even while talking, Thurman didn't seem too thrilled about going into another grueling battle with the relentless Porter.
"He’s my mandatory, and they were adamant about getting the rematch," Thurman said to Jim Gray. "Now, they fought themselves into position for the rematch. He does deserve it. Now, there’s nothing to do but sitting down and talking to Al Haymon and making the fight happen."
Thurman only made the statement because he was in the ring with Porter. A rematch with Porter this quickly makes little sense. Fighting Pacquiao is the bigger fight even though it is a long shot to happen, but Pacquiao does like challenges, and Thurman is the best 147-pound fighter in the world today. The Brook-Spence winner is also intriguing for the champion. Brook or Spence will walk out of England as the IBF champ, and an undisputed title fight equals a lot of money regardless if the fight is in Brook's home country of England or the United States if Spence emerges the victor.
Only if those fights fall through is where then, and only then, should the Porter fight come next.
What does Porter offer Thurman at this point aside from more bruising to his face and a lot of punches to the head? Absolutely nothing.
Steven Muehlhausen is an MMA and boxing writer and contributor for Sporting News. You can find his podcast, "The Fight Club Chicago," and subscribe on iTunes. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and can find him on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA.