BROOKLYN, NY-Two years is a long time for any fighter to be away from the ring, especially when injuries are the culprit. Naysayers questioned if WBA Welterweight Super Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman would be a one and done champion. Challenger Josesito Lopez hoped Thurman’s layoff would work to his advantage.
Lopez’s hope was quickly diminished in the second round against Thurman in their championship bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. On the flip side, Thurman predicted an early knockout. He nearly delivered on that prediction when he dropped Lopez to his knees in the second round.
“I believe that I am the best welterweight in the division and in the world and I hope to showcase that on January 26 with a knockout,” Thurman said leading up to the fight against Lopez.”
Lopez was repeatedly shaken early on by Thurman’s power punches. The bounce back for Lopez showed up in Round 7 as he aggressively wiped Thurman all over the ring with a relentless fury of left hooks, straight shots and punches to his head and body. Thurman found himself in trouble. Thurman managed to get out of that situation, regain control of the fight and powered his way through a very tough match.
Thurman’s return to Brooklyn Boxing in front of nearly 10,000 fans at Barclays Center and a national audience on FOX was worth the wait. When the exciting contest ended, Thurman was declared the winner and retained his world title by a majority decision. By all accounts, it should have been a unanimous decision.
Judge Don Ackerman saw the fight as a draw (113-113), which puzzled nearly everyone who watched the entire fight. The other two final scorecards from Judge Tom Schreck (117-109) and Judge Steve Weisfeld (115-111) were in favor of Thurman.
Lopez gave Thurman a run for his money. At best, two to three rounds belonged to Lopez, but Thurman dominated the majority of the contest. Not sure how Ackerman saw it differently but based on social media comments he caught a lot of flak from fans across the country.
Nonetheless, Thurman gave fans the show he promised and improved his record to 29-0. The late Ben Getty, Thurman’s trainer, would be proud. After taking down Lopez, there are some scenarios that could play out for Thurman in the immediate future. One them could be trying to unify the welterweight crown.
With that in mind, the question now is Thurman ready to take on WBA World Champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao? The road to championship status is a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s see a few more fights before Thurman reaches for the brass ring.
Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA, a public relations consultant, is the owner of Platinum Star PR and can be reached on Twitter @PlatinumStar or Instagram @PlatinumStarPR. Send health questions or stories related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.