Keith Thurman returned from his long 22-month layoff to defend his WBA Welterweight belt against Josesito Lopez. This was a tune-up fight to see how Keith would feel after returning from elbow, and hand injuries. Josesito was not given much of a shot to win this fight, and if you look at my scorecard you might think I never thought he had a chance of winning the fight, but you would be mistaken. Let’s get into how the fight actually went down.
Keith Thurman wins via MD 12
Thurman retains his WBA Welterweight Title
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Jan 26, 2019, 5:00 pm, FOX
In the first couple of rounds of the fight, two things stood out to me. Keith did not seem to show much ring rust, and you could tell that Josesito was going to “bring it” all night long. Keith showed speed, accuracy, and power early in the fight … which was apparent after Keith dropped Josesito with a left hook in the second round. Even though Josesito was down, he was able to recover and keep bringing the pressure. Josesito was able to hurt Keith momentarily in the 4th round, but Keith was able to recover and still win the round. I had Keith winning the first six rounds of the fight on my scorecard, even though Josesito was making it tough for Keith and had a pretty good 6th round (but not good enough to win it in my opinion). If Josesito did not do enough to win the 6th round, that definitely was not the case in the 7th round.
Josesito had his best round in the fight and pretty much beat the shit out of Thurman for more than half of the round. It looked like Josesito finally figured it out and was on his way to Knock out the champ. However, somehow Thurman made it out of the round without going down and showed some real champion level toughness. After going through hell in the 7th round, Keith was able to return to win the 8th round, and every other round thereafter on my scorecard. I scored the fight wide for Keith Thurman and only gave Lopez one round on my card, but I still think the fight was competitive the whole way through and thought Josesito looked a lot better than most of us expected.
The Judges scored the fight closer than I did for sure, with one judge scoring it a draw, but if you look at the Compubox punch stats, the numbers back me up. Keith Thurman was able to land twice as many punches as Josesito Lopez. Rusty Keith Thurman or not, credit goes out to Josesito for stepping up and making it tough on Keith, and credit goes out to Keith for surviving the 7th round and making sure he did not lose his belt.
Scorecards & Stats
Official Scorecard: 113-113, 115-111, and 117-109
Social Mike Scorecard
Final Punch Report
Courtesy of Compubox
Next Up for Thurman
Keith has to get his hand and elbow evaluated to make sure they held up fine. If things check out fine the next options for Keith are going back for his WBC belt fighting the winner of Shawn Porter and Yordenis Ugas, or a big fight with Pacquiao if Pacquiao can not land a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. It seems like Keith is more concerned with landing the fight with Pacquiao than the rematch with Shawn Porter, but I guess we will all find out soon enough.
Full PBC Fight Results
Tugstsogt Nyambayar vs. Claudio Marrero
10 rounds – Featherweight
Result: Tugstsogt Nyambayar wins Via UD 12
Adam Kownacki (No. 9) vs. Gerald Washington
10 rounds – Heavyweight
Result: Adam Kownacki wins via TKO 2
Keith Thurman (No. 3) vs. Josesito Lopez
12 rounds – WBA Welterweight Title
Result: Keith Thurman wins via MD 12
Note: Numbers next to the boxer is associated with their placement on Ring.com division rankings.