Premier Boxing Champions comes to ESPN tonight at 9:00 pm EST, with Keith Thurman taking on Luis Collazo in the welterweight main event from Tampa. BLH will be here with live round by round coverage for the event.
Thurman (25-0, 21 KO) is an emerging contender and rising star in the deep 147-pound division, but failed to land the big fight he says he wanted after beating Robert Guerrero in March. Collazo (36-6, 19 KO) got a new lease on his career after knocking out Victor Ortiz in January 2014, followed by a wide loss to Amir Khan in May of last year. He last fought on April 11, stopping club fighter Christopher Delgado in two rounds.
In the co-feature, middleweight prospect Tony Harrison (21-0, 18 KO) will face Willie Nelson (23-2-1, 13 KO) in a ten-round bout. Harrison, 24, is the latest power puncher out of the Kronk in Detroit. Nelson is a hot and cold fighter who could be primed for the upset.
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Keith Thurman def. Luis Collazo via TKO (0:01 of round 8)
Willie Nelson def. Tony Harrison via TKO (2:57 of round 9)
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ROUND BY ROUND
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KEITH THURMAN vs LUIS COLLAZO
Round 1: Very excited hometown crowd for Thurman. Thurman shoots a meaningful right hand quickly, and Collazo spins away to reset. Thurman's not being reckless, but his body language says he wants to do something scintillating. Thurman throwing with intent but not landing much of note. Collazo not really doing anything so far, though, other than avoiding getting hit clean. He's poked a couple shots through. Clear round for Thurman but nothing big. Thurman 10-9
Round 2: Thurman is dictating almost everything that's happening in this fight, even without doing anything huge so far. He's able to walk Collazo pretty much anywhere he wants Collazo to go. There's a pretty solid right hand and a real nice left hook from Thurman. 30 seconds to go in the round. Left to the body. Body shot and a right upstairs catch Collazo leaning in after missing shots. Thurman 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Thurman's doing the better work, but Collazo is taking a few more risks this round. That means he lands a couple more shots and gets hit more, too. Atlas declares Thurman the best athlete in boxing. Probably not, since Aaron Pryor Jr is still a boxer, but I get the sentiment. I still like Thurman this round, but Collazo was in this one. Thurman 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Thurman sticking and moving, but Collazo is going to him now and lands some good body shots. Collazo's face starting to mark up as Thurman keeps getting shots through at odd angles while he moves. Thurman looking sharp, Collazo looks solid, too. Thurman 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Thurman starting round 5 strong, and may have hurt Collazo a little on a right to the body, but Luis covers up. Thurman connects on a right uppercut. WHOA! Collazo hurts Thurman and goes on the attack, Thurman trying to hold on! Thurman may have been lucky the round ended when it did. Collazo 10-9, Thurman 49-46
Round 6: Let's see if Collazo looks to go right back to the body. Yep, that's what he's looking for now. And understandably so. Collazo is really stalking Thurman now. Collazo digs to the body and the referee mentions low blows, which I didn't see but he's closer than me. Collazo may have stunned Thurman yet again. Left hand down the pipe lands. Luis Collazo is bossing this fight. Thurman with a decent right at the end of the round. Collazo 10-9, Thurman 58-56
Round 7: Collazo is fighting pretty fearlessly at this point, which might be unwise, but really, what's he gonna do, win on points? In Tampa? On a PBC card? Against a -5000 favorite? Collazo cut up now and bleeding near both eyes, but not in bad spots. Collazo struggling to cut off the ring even with the willingness to bring constant pressure and make Thurman move. Thurman, however, moves really well, and I like how he's back to business this round. "Keith, Keith, Keith" chant as Thurman does his business. Thurman 10-9, 68-65
After round 7: Collazo says, "I can't see." Doctor asks, "You want me to stop this?" "That's up to y'all. I can't see," Collazo replies. Fight is stopped. Official ruling: Keith Thurman TKO at 0:01 of round 8.
TONY HARRISON vs WILLIE NELSON
Round 1: Alright! Here we go. Nelson comes out throwing a big right hand, and Teddy says Nelson finally wants to fight tall now that he's got a new trainer, having split with Jack Loew. Harrison gets inside and throws, with Nelson covering up. Nelson jabs to the body. Jab and hook clips Nelson, but he throws back, too. Jab from Harrison pokes through the guard. Nelson misses a loaded up right hand. Good jabs from Harrison, working it two and three at a time. Nelson lunges in and catches Harrison with a left hook, but he was too far in to do real damage, it appears. Good body shot from Nelson, and catches him again with a left hook upstairs. Harrison with a hook. Nelson finishes this round nicely, but then throws a WILD left hook at the bell and trips over his own feet. Nelson 10-9
Round 2: Nelson does some good work here, but Harrison controls some of the pace, too. This is a fairly close round again, and they end it with some two-way action. Nelson got the better of this, I think, but this has been a good matchup. Nelson 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: More of a jab contest in thie first half of this round, and Harrison's getting the better of that. He's definitely got the better jab of the two. He's not taller or longer, but his jab is superior -- Nelson's has never been really well developed, it doesn't seem, despite training under Triple Jab Jack for years. Nelson catches a left hook attempt, Harrison goes back to the double jab, then a jab to the body. Nelson looking for power shots, but getting tied up for getting too close. Nice round for Harrison. Harrison 10-9, Nelson 29-28
Round 4: Harrison is REALLY working his jab nicely now. It's been solid all night but it's really taking over the fight these last two rounds. He seems to have Nelson figured out as far as what Nelson wanted to do coming in. Tony's really found a comfortable pace and zone for his work now, up to Nelson to adjust. Harrison 10-9, 38-38
Round 5: I like what Harrison is doing in this fight now. Taking his time, fighting smart, working patiently and not trying to do more than what Nelson is giving him. Sure, everyone would like to see something spectacular, but Nelson is someone Harrison is gauging himself against. Harrison 10-9, 48-47
Round 6: Harrison now pretty easily winning this fight, as Nelson has failed to adjust to the adjustments, and is looking pretty pedestrian. Nelson trying to counter as Harrison finishes combos, but nothing coming of that. Harrison 10-9, 58-56
Round 7: Boo birds starting to come out now as this is one of those fights that starts interesting, finds its rhythm, and just stays there. Nelson finally trying to jab back some. Really slow round, more booing as the round ends. Harrison really not willing to take chances in there. Harrison 10-9, 68-65
Round 8: Good work inside from Nelson, which is just his instinct coming out. Maybe he should just do what he's better at? I like Willie in this round, not because he did so much that was great, but Harrison's timid nature is wearing on me and I am a biased human being. Harrison did a bit at the end of the round. Nelson 10-9, Harrison 77-75
Round 9: Harrison corners Nelson and lets his hands go, Nelson throws a right to get out of danger. Short right hand from Nelson, not a lot on it, in too far that time. Harrison busts through with a couple shots. Harrison with a chopping right to the side of the head. Left hook to the body from Harrison. This is the first time Harrison's gone past eight rounds. Good right hand from Nelson and DOWN GOES TONY HARRISON! HARRISON GETS UP, BUT IT IS OVER! Willie Nelson TKO-9