Tampa, Florida – Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN, Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0-0, 22 KOs), 146.2 lbs., successfully defended his WBA “regular” welterweight title against Luis Collazo (36-7-0, 19 KOs), by TKO at .01 seconds in the ninth round on Saturday night at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. Both fighters spent most of the round feeling each other out, Thurman taking advantage of Collazo’s slower pace. Collazo missed wide with a pair of early punches, as Thurman kept his distance. Thurman, with an entire crowd of 4136 in attendance in his corner, was on their feet with every punch he threw – regardless if it landed or not. Thurman took the first round, testing Collazo with his strength and avoiding most of the veteran’s punches. Thurman stepped up his output in the second, cutting off the ring at every opportunity. Collazo played the role of counter-puncher, moving very slick and kept moving trying to avoid the heavy hands of the energized Thurman who snuck in a clean short counter right to the head near the end of the round.
Thurman’s poise and speed went on full display in the third, as he continually beat Collazo to the punch. Collazo relentlessly continued to move forward keeping Thurman on his toes, stalking the champ in the third and fourth rounds. Thurman unloaded at the start of the fifth, landing a crushing right hand to the body. Thurman caught the stalking Collazo with a clean straight right to the face, as he still has yet to stop Collazo from trying to get inside. Thurman switched tactics in the middle of the round, slipping away from his shots. This change in tactics came at a high cost, as Collazo having his chance to turn the fight caught Thurman against the ropes and landed the best shot of the bout: an explosive left to the ribs of Thurman. Collazo went on the attack trying to hit the body and stop the champ. Thurman winded held on survived the round, holding on to the game challenger.
The sixth saw Thurman much more conservative in his style, showing the effects of the last round. Collazo continued to come forward, working his punches effectively. Thurman gained a second wind in the seventh, shaking off the body shot from earlier and landing the cleaner shots. The fight ended abruptly as the bell rang for the ninth round (0:01 of the 8th to be exact), as the corner of Collazo called off the fight apparently due to the cut around the eye Collazo stated he just could not see. A lively Thurman took to the microphone after, calling out for Floyd Mayweather to try and take his belt.
At the time of the stoppage, Thurman was up 69-64, 69-64, 68-65.Y