Keith Thurman out-points Leonard Bundu but cannot stop him in Las Vegas
First-round flooring does not set up another knockout
Last Updated: 14/12/14 7:41am
Keith Thurman continued his unbeaten progress through the welterweight division but was far from explosive against Leonard Bundu.
The 26-year-old, nicknamed 'One Time', put his challenger down at the very start but was unable to showcase his knockout power during a unanimous decision win, with all three judges giving him a 120-107 shut-out.
Thurman, like Amir Khan, has been pursuing a shot at Floyd Mayweather, but failed to excite the Las Vegas crowd with a thoughtful, skilful performance.
He set off at a smart pace and before the first round was over, had put Bundu down with a vicious left hook to the body. But the 40-year-old Italian bravely climbed up from the canvas and held Thurman at bay.
From the moment he was dropped, Bundu was a sitting target. In the second, a swift combination from Thurman threatened to cause even more damage.
Bundu's defence was being picked apart at will and Thurman's lightning left found the mark as he controlled the centre of the ring.
Thurman's punch-power is well known, but he also showed his smartness and slick skills. He switched back and forth from orthodox to southpaw for the first half, then went behind the jab with a confident bounce in his step.
It took seven rounds for Bundu to pose a threat but as soon as a short right landed inside, it snapped Thurman back into life and by the eighth he wobbled his man with a right hook.
The impatient crowd at the MGM Grand had been booing since the halfway mark and although Thurman was still on top, there was little to cheer in the later rounds.
"Bundu was smart, he was tricky, he was an Olympian and he came not to get knocked out," said Thurman.
"He could do that but he couldn't win rounds. We were patient and just boxed smart.
"I was the most accurate in every round and that was all that mattered."