THURMAN ESCAPES WITH A MAJORITY DECISION WIN AGAINST LOPEZ; CALLS OUT PACQUIAO
By Rich Mazon
Sun, 27 Jan 2019
Brooklyn, New York - After almost a two-year absence in the ring, Keith Thurman Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs) narrowly escaped with a hard-earned Majority Decision victory against Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs) at the Barclays Center.
The current World Boxing Association (WBA) super champion at welterweight garnered scores of 113-113, 115-111 and 117-109 to retain his title belt against a very tough and determined challenger.
Thurman scored first with a knockdown in the 2nd when he connected with a beautiful left hook that sent Lopez down.
Lopez out of Riverside, California recovered and mounted a comeback after the knockdown.
The fighter who was nicknamed as the ?Riverside Rocky? - because of his tough showing in his previous big bouts-stalked him from the 4th round onwards. He rattled Thurman in the round and his overhand right connected against an unsuspecting champion.
Lopez had a huge 7th round. He almost scored a knockdown of his own with a blistering attack. He hurt the reigning champ with both of his hands which stunned and buzzed Thurman. He continued his stalking in the 8th and 9th, hurting and bloodying his foe in the process.
Thurman showed rust after a twenty-two month layoff but he did not succumb to the pressure that his challenger presented. He did not go down despite getting him constantly by Lopez and he also returned fire under duress.
The still-unbeaten champ (now 29-0) returned to boxing in the championship rounds. He used his feet and moved around smartly around the ring. He also punched and scored at will while avoiding the overhand right that hurt him early.
Thurman acknowledged that he was ?shaken and buzzed? by Lopez in that 7th while also admitting that underestimated his long reach which bothered him during the contest.
The super WBA welterweight champ then addressed a future fight with a future mega opponent in Manny Pacquiao.
?I would most likely definitely take the Manny Pacquiao fight this year. I feel good. That was a beautiful fight. I'm ready to fight wherever Pacquiao wants it,? Thurman stated.
But judging by his performance tonight, Thurman will be in a heap of trouble against the 40 year-old legend.
KOWNACKI KOs WASHINGTON
A short heavyweight slugfest between Adam Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs) and Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs) was the co-feature of the night at the loud venue.
Kownacki stopped Washington in the 2nd round of their scheduled ten rounder.
Supported by an emphatic Polish and Brooklyn contingent, the still unbeaten heavyweight started strong with heavy punches that landed early for him in the opening bell.
The Polish born heavyweight from Brooklyn then sent Washington across the ring with a hard right in the next round. He followed that with another hard right and then down goes the other big man.
Struggling to get up from the knockdown, Washington used the ropes to get to his feet. He got up but is taken out right away by a KO-seeking hometown fighter.
?I trained hard for this fight. I prepared for ten hard rounds, but I'm glad I got it done and ended it as fast as I did.?
The time of the stoppage was 1:09 of the 2nd round.
NYAMBAYAR BEATS MARRERO IN AN ELIMINATOR
The show on national television started with an eliminator for the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight title between Claudio Marrero (23-2, 17 KOs) of the Dominican Republic and Mongolia?s Tugstsogt Nyambayar (10-0, 9 KOs).
Nyambayar, an Olympic silver medalist edged Marrero in the 12 round contest with a Unanimous Decision victory with scores of 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111.
The unbeaten Nyambayar came in strong and overwhelmed Marrero with a barrage of body and head shots that rattled his opponent. In the 3rd, a bruising combo blinded Marrero. which Nyambayar punctuated it with a stingy uppercut that shook the Dominican fighter?s knees.
The Mongolian was the busier fighter in the middle rounds. He edged him in the 7th and 8th after a bruising exchange with punches that drew reaction from the crowd.
Marrero, a former interim title holder of the World Boxing Association at featherweight, didn?t back down from the Mongolian?s attacks. He was successful with his counters and his right hand found a place in Nyambayar?s face. He was deducted a point late in the fight (10th) due to persistent late hits but that would not have mattered as Nyambayar was still ahead in points.
With his win, Nyambayar earned to face Gary Russel Jr. - the current champ- in a future title fight.
?This sets me up for big fights. Whatever big fights are presented to us, we'll take it," said Nyambayar.
You can reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org and @Freemazon910 on Twitter.
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