Keith Thurman went the distance and showed some rust in his first fight in 22 months, but he wound up retaining his WBA “super world” welterweight title with a hard-fought win over a game Josesito Lopez tonight in Brooklyn.
Thurman won on majority decision scores of 113-113, 115-111, and 117-109. BLH had it 116-111 for Thurman.
Thurman (29-0, 22 KO) started pretty fast, and dropped Lopez (36-8, 19 KO) with a left hook in the second round, a counter shot to a looping hook attempt from Lopez. But “The Riverside Rocky” once again showed us how he got that nickname, staying in the fight and battling valiantly as the underdog.
Lopez shook Thurman a bit with a left hook late in the fourth round, and had his best chance in the seventh frame, when he landed a rally of clean shots, sending Thurman retreating all around the squared circle. Thurman admitted after the fight that he was hurt in the seventh round.
Thurman settled down from there, but the rest of the fight was fought about 50-50 overall, with Lopez doing his best to make Thurman uncomfortable, and both men landing some good shots. Thurman’s early round work added to a closer second half was good enough to give Thurman the win, and help him retain his title.
After the bout, Thurman was asked about potentially fighting WBA “world” titleholder Manny Pacquiao, and said he’s up for it. As we all know, Pacquiao’s main goal is a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, but if the 42-year-old Mayweather truly stays retired, then Thurman is about as big a target as he could have in the 147-pound division otherwise.
CompuBox saw Thurman land 247 of 899 (28%) of his total punches, including 168 of 372 (45%) of his power punches. Lopez landed 117 of 513 (23%) total punches, and 100 of 357 (28%) of his power shots.