All three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Thurman. With this win, Thurman has defended his 147-pound belt for the third time. ESPN.com also had it 115-113 for Thurman.
"I want to thank Shawn Porter for a tremendous fight. He's a great warrior," said Thurman, 27, of Clearwater, Florida. "Shawn brought it today. He was on me. But I knew that defense would be the key to victory. He smothers his punches a lot and it's very difficult for the judges to give him clear scoring. I was able to rock him with clear, effective blows, and I believe that was the key to victory today. He's in tremendous shape and is a tremendous athlete, and I would love to see him in the ring again if he wanted it."
Porter was disappointed but said he tried his best. "At the end of the day, I'm blessed," said 28-year-old Porter. "We worked hard. Keith is a great champion. My dad [trainer Ken Porter] says to keep your head up. I think I won the fight, but I'm satisfied, because the competitor came out tonight."
The fight was billed as one of the most exciting of this year and both Thurman and Porter did well to make it nail-biting. This was the first main event televised by CBS in prime time since Feb. 15, 1978, when Muhammad Ali lost a 15-round split decision and the heavyweight title to Leon Spinks in a massive upset.
"That was some classic s - right there," promoter Lou DiBella said. "To have a fight with that kind of anticipation, the best against the best, and you wind up with that kind of fight? A fight that lived up to the expectations, and you didn't have to pay 75 bucks for it? I love boxing tonight," he added.