Keith Thurman Fails To Impress
Keith Thurman ended a frustrating 22-month absence from boxing with a hard-fought win over the tough Josesito Lopez in New York.
In the opening few rounds, it looked as though Thurman would be in for an early night, showing no signs of ring rust he looked sharp and dropped Lopez in the 2nd courtesy of a left hook, but Lopez survived the round and gradually the storm passed and Lopez gradually worked his way back into the fight.
Thurman’s punches didn’t seem to trouble Lopez again and as he slowed down the fight became a lot closer. In the 7th, Lopez suddenly looked as though he could upset all the odds and all the plans for Thurman going forward. Lopez had his chance as he smashed Thurman all over the ring for the majority of the round. An unlikely victory looked a distinct possibility, but the legs of Thurman did the trick and somehow he not only survived the round but did so without even going down.
Often in boxing you only get one chance to grab your moment of glory, Lopez had his, and it never came again despite his best efforts. Lopez never stopped marching forward and despite never looking in any danger himself, he couldn’t quite find the same sort of success he had in the 7th.
Thurman managed to avoid any real danger moments again and did enough to see out the fight and win by majority decision via scores of 115-111, 117-109 and 113-113. There was little doubt Thurman had done enough but the score of 117-109 didn’t reflect what Lopez brought to the fight, the contest was much closer than that.
From looking like the fighter of old in the early stages he looked like a fighter ready to be taken by the end of the fight. Time waits for nobody, and since Thurman last fought the landscape of the welterweight division has changed.
Errol Spence Jr is now a champion and Terrence Crawford has made the welterweight ranks his new home. There are plenty of big names out there for Thurman, but if he is to be judged by the company he now keeps, he looked a long way short of being capable of beating the likes of Spence Jr and Crawford.
Thurman will improve from the fight, but it proved far tougher than it should have been. Thurman survived a real scare against Lopez, against a better foe next time he might not be so lucky.
In retaining his WBA welterweight title Thurman improved to 29-0, Lopez drops to 36-8.
Photo Credit: Andy Samuelson / Premier Boxing Champions