PBC comes to ESPN: Keith Thurman vs Luis Collazo prediction
Thurman and Collazo kick off the latest PBC venture.
This Saturday night Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman defends his WBA ‘World’ welterweight title for the second time against experienced former champion Luis Collazo. The fight will headline the inaugural PBC on ESPN show which replaces the long standing Friday Night Fights series.
Thurman has all the qualities to become the next flag bearer for the sport of boxing after Floyd Mayweather eventually leaves the game. He is undefeated at 25-0, young at 26 and has a massive KO ratio of 81%.
Most important of all however is the fact that he is backed by managerial powerhouse Al Haymon. Haymon has placed belief in Thurman choosing him to headline the opening PBC cards for both ESPN and previously NBC.
Thurman has thus far justified the hype with a series of stoppage wins over respected foes such as Carlos Quintana, Diego Chaves and Julio Diaz. He has also shown his ability to box to a victory clearly outpointing former titleholder Jan Zaveck and Leonard Bundu over 12.
His latest win, a entertaining but clear points victory against former multi weight belt holder Robert Guerrero, showed his ability to mix boxing and fighting as was seen in round 9 when he had ‘The Ghost’ on the canvas.
One tough New Yorker
Collazo on the other hand has a record of 36-6 and has had a long hard career which began over 15 years ago and seems to be coming to the end.
2005 saw the likable New Yorker win and defend the WBA World welterweight title against Jose Antonio Rivera and Miguel Angel Gonzalez respectfully but he has failed to reach such heights since losing his title in a competitive decision to Ricky Hatton the following year.
The next there years saw Collazo try to regain a version of the welterweight title on two occasions against Shane Mosley and Andre Berto but both ended in clear decision losses.
His career seemed to be finished following a decision loss to fringe contender Freddy Hernandez in late 2011 but after a year out he embarked on a 4 fight winning streak which culminated in a stunning KO victory over former title holder Victor Ortiz.
The Ortiz win earned Collazo another crack at the elite level against former unified light welterweight king Amir Khan on the Floyd Mayweather – Marcos Maidana undercard in May 2014 but in the fight Collazo looked a finished fighter getting dropped 3 times in a comprehensive decision loss.
Collazo returned a year later to stop club fighter Christopher Degollado in two rounds and now finds himself with one last shot at glory against Thurman.
Despite the fact that both fighters seem to be coming into the fight in contrasting form this has the makings of a potentially entertaining fight. Collazo has a great chin as evidence by the fact he has not been stopped since a 2002 loss to Edwin Cassiani and will always give his all in the ring.
Prediction and undercard
Thurman will likely want to make a statement on his PBC on ESPN debut and try to become the first man in over a decade to stop the New Yorker. Collazo said at the media workout that, “My preparation was for 15 rounds so we’re ready to go the distance. I’m here for the long haul”, while Thurman was quoted as saying: “I’ve worked hard to get here and I want to be spectacular.”
Thurman starts a massive favourite with the bookmakers and I feel that we will see an entertaining yet one sided fight in Thurman’s favour, similar to that of the Guerrero fight, only here I see Collazo getting dropped several times before finally wilting in the championship rounds and getting stopped for the first time in 13 years.
Chief support for the bill which takes place in Thurman’s home state of Florida sees 21-0 Detroit, Michigan prospect Tony Harrison take his first major step up in class against perennial contender Willie Nelson (23-2-1). There are also run outs for Patryk Szymanski (13-0), Edner Cherry (33-6-2), Anthony Peterson (34-1) and Antonio Tarver Jr (2-0) on the bill.
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