Keith “One Time” Thurman, billed as the next big thing in boxing, overcame serious adversity to bust up and stop rugged Luis Collazo in an entertaining welterweight contest last night in Tampa. It was the first PBC series presented on ESPN.
In the lead-up bout, durable Willie Nelson scored a shocking upset over undefeated prospect Tony Harrison when he kayoed him in the ninth round.
Tony Harrison (21-0 18KO) vs. Willie Nelson (23-2-1 13KO) Jr. Middleweight
This was a big fight for both boxers. Tony Harrison was taking the next step up in competition against the veteran Nelson, while Nelson was trying to set his career back on track. Both guys came out throwing power punches, displaying the disdain they showed for each other at the press conference earlier in the week.
Most of this fight showed little action. Nelson threw few punches in the earlier rounds, while Harrison was able to use his faster hand speed and easily counter his opponent.
Harrison’s defensive strategy strategy was to stay low, to bring the taller Nelson lower, while Harrison would punch high. Harrison then became the more offensive fighter, making Nelson fight off his back foot.
For the majority of the fight, the pace was very slow and the boo birds were very well heard by the 5th to 8th rounds.
In the 9th, probably behind on the score cards, Willie Nelson was able to land a big right hand to the top of the head of Harrison, wobbling Harrison down to the canvas. Harrison was barely able to make it up by the 8 count, and staggered into the corner where the ref stopped the fight at the 2:57 mark and giving Tony Harrison the first loss of his career.
Nelson TKO 2:57 9th rd.
Luis Collazo (36-6 19KO) vs. Keith Thurman (25-0 21KO) Welterweight:
In a fight that was supposed to be a showcase fight for the young and undefeated Keith Thurman, the hometown kid made good. It was a fight that went both ways for both guys.
The earlier rounds had Thurman coming out as the more aggressive fighter, keeping Collazo moving around the ring for a few rounds. Thurman had eyes wide open and was stalking Collazo around the ring, landing good shots while trapping Collazo against the ropes. Thurman begins using his feints and moving back, luring Collazo in.
Thurman starts to fight on the move, bringing Collazo closer and closer, stopping to land combinations and then moving out.
In the 5th Thurman starts the round with two big right hands, but neither stuns Collazo, who continues to move forward, even as his left eye begins to swell. Toward the end of the round, Collazo lands a big left hand body shot, that hurts Thurman. Thurman hunched over, held and was able to make it the ten seconds until the bell rang. It was a scary moment for Thurman.
Collazo comes out landing to the body, trying to get Thurman to drop his arms little by little.
Between the 6th and 7th round a cut is opened over the right eye of Collazo by an accidental headbutt.
This headbutt ended up being the undoing of Collazo. In the corner between the 7th and 8th round, Collazo was asked by the ringside doctor about the cut, and Collazo answered “I cannot see”, the fight was then stopped with 1 second of the 8th round.
Thurman TKO 0:01 8th (Collazo retired due to cut)-36699″ />