Keith Thurman defeats Shawn Porter by close unanimous decision

NEW YORK -- They've been pals since they were teenagers, but Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter did not let their friendship stand in the way of a hellacious battle on Saturday night.

In an old-fashioned fight of the year candidate, Thurman got the job done as he eked out a unanimous decision to retain his welterweight world title before a crowd of 12,718 on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

All three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Thurman, who retained his 147-pound belt for the third time. ESPN.com also had it 115-113 for Thurman.

The fight was one of the most anticipated of the year, and Thurman and Porter delivered big time, going toe-to-toe for much of the intense fight, 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.