Fight Report: Thurman vs Collazo

Keith Thurman defended his WBA welterweight title in his home city of Tampa, Florida, last night, retiring Brooklyn’s Luis Collazo on cuts after the seventh round. It was a competitive fight in which Collazo managed to stun Thurman with a beautiful left hook in the fifth, and it did little to convince that ‘One-Time’s’ superstardom is an inevitability. He showed his skills but didn’t thoroughly outclass Collazo, and calls for Thurman to get Floyd Mayweather next are unfounded.

On last night’s broadcast, Teddy Atlas called Thurman “the best athlete in boxing”. This is a large and unprovable claim whose consideration depends on one’s definition of athleticism, but it seemed like an odd statement to make. Thurman (26-0) is clearly a fine athlete. Strong, well-balanced, coordinated, and possessing decent hand speed, he is no slouch. But he doesn’t have the spectacular physical skills of a Gary Russell, or even, dare I say, a young Zab Judah. “One-Time” looks very solid but he’s no athletic outlier at the pro level. Rather, Thurman is an amalgamation of well-rounded skills that cuts an impressive figure when taken together.


This is worth mentioning because Thurman didn’t look levels above Collazo (36-7) yesterday. The Brooklynite is an experienced and durable professional who knows how to stick around. The difference between them was crystallized whenever Thurman put his punches together, mixing uppercuts and hooks with well-placed body blows, as Collazo couldn’t manage such a varied attack. But even Thurman’s best combinations didn’t overwhelm Collazo, who became progressively marked but never edged toward the precipice of a knockout. Thurman can punch, but it will require more than “one time” for a tough opponent to feel it.

The fight concluded strangely, when between the seventh and eighth Collazo complained of his vision being obstructed by a bad cut, which prompted his corner to stop it. In his post-fight interview Collazo didn’t seem particularly fazed by the outcome, and was measured in his praise of Thurman, calling him, “great”, but then backtracking and saying that “he’s got a ways to go.” Collazo’s resignation to defeat and placid demeanour reinforced the secondary role he played in this fight, which was staged solely to move Thurman upwards.

Collazo, throwing a right hook, proved himself to be a tough opponent for Thurman.

In his interview, Thurman was asked about Floyd Mayweather and naturally called him out, plagiarizing Floyd by referring to himself as a “young, strong champion”. Like all of the other welterweights jostling for their shot, Thurman is not on Floyd’s level, and needs more seasoning if he’s to mount a legitimate challenge. Unfortunately, Thurman’s development has been retarded by the frustratingly slow pace at which his career has progressed.

After first paying homage to God, Thurman thanked Al Haymon after the win. If Thurman were not managed by Haymon but someone actually vested in ‘One-Time’s’ development as a fighter, he’d likely be further along. Perhaps he’d even be ready to challenge Mayweather. But this isn’t true right now. Floyd would pick Thurman apart because ‘One-Time’ is easy to hit, and unlike Marcos Maidana, he doesn’t fight with the physical belligerence that bothers Mayweather. Thurman needs more development time to pose a threat. Unfortunately, time is conspiring against him, because Floyd’s reign is coming to an end.

Ironic, isn’t it, that Al Haymon, the man working to make Keith Thurman rich, has prevented him from building a credible case to make the richest fight of all?

      — Eliott McCormick

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2 thoughts on “Fight Report: Thurman vs Collazo

  • July 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Thurman is hardly, by boxing standards, a young champion. He’s 27 this year and has been a pro for 8 years now. I totally agree that he has been particularly well managed from the stand point of his boxing development. I don’t think he has been moved up quickly enough, and as a result I don’t think he has shown dramatic signs of development. I essentially see the same fighter I saw against Quintana or Zavek.

    Keith looks a bit vulnerable to me. He’s been getting visibly hurt in quite a few of his recent fights. Other flaws I see is a lack of inside game, and his power really isn’t the same when he’s not winging his shots, when he shortens up his punches they don’t have the same impact, there’s technical flaws there that need correcting.

    I felt Collazo was trying to get the fight to go to the cards, it was a close fight IMO and I think Collazo felt that, so that would have been his chance to win, rather than fighting on with a cut, something at his age and standing in the sport meant he probably didn’t want to have to go through.

    • July 12, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Wayne,

      Thanks for reading. You make some good points here, but do you mean he hasn’t been particularly well managed from the standpoint of his boxing development, rather than ‘has’? To be a little more reductive than I was in the piece, the problem, it seems to me, is that Thurman is still trying to find himself as a fighter. Is he a puncher, a boxer, or a boxer-puncher? Last night, it looked like Thurman was trying to box, but he isn’t slick enough to do so. Conversely, I don’t know if he’s powerful enough to flourish merely as a puncher. Maybe it’s just a case of him finding some comfortable middle ground, which, it appears, is a difficult thing to do; regardless, until he does so, he’ll never pose any threat to Floyd, who Thurman isn’t skilled or physical enough to threaten. Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful response.


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