By on July 13, 2015
Damon Gonzalez LatinBox Ringside Sports

 Tampa, Florida – Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN – Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0-0, 22 KOs), 146.2 lbs., successfully defended his WBA “regular” welterweight title against Luis Collazo (36-7-0, 19 KOs), by TKO at one second into the ninth round on Saturday night at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. Both fighters spent most of the round feeling each other out, Thurman taking advantage of Collazo’s slower pace. Collazo missed wide with a pair of early punches, as Thurman kept his distance. Thurman, with an entire crowd of 4136 in attendance in his corner, were on their feet with every punch he threw – regardless if it landed or not. Thurman took the first round, testing Collazo with his strength and avoiding most of the veteran’s punches. Thurman stepped up his output in the second, cutting off the ring at every opportunity. Collazo played the role of counter-puncher, moving very slick and kept moving trying to avoid the heavy hands of the energized Thurman who was able to sneak in a clean short counter right to the head near the end of the round.

Keith Thurman (left) and Luis Collazo (photo Alex Menendez / LatinBox)

Keith Thurman (left) and Luis Collazo (photo Alex Menendez / LatinBox)

Thurman’s poise and speed went on full display in the third, as he continually beat Collazo to the punch. Collazo relentlessly continued to move forward keeping Thurman on his toes, stalking the champ in the third and fourth rounds. Thurman unloaded at the start of the fifth, landing a crushing right hand to the body. Thurman caught the stalking Collazo with a clean straight right to the face, as he still has yet to stop Collazo from trying to get inside. Thurman switched tactics in the middle of the round, slipping away from his shots. This change in tactics came at a high cost, as Collazo having his chance to turn the fight caught Thurman against the ropes and landed the best shot of the bout: an explosive left to the ribs of Thurman. Collazo went on the attack trying to hit the body and stop the champ. Thurman was winded, but held on and survived the round, holding on to the gamed challenger.

The sixth round saw Thurman much more conservative in his style, showing the effects of the last round. Collazo continued to come forward, working his punches effectively. Thurman gained a second wind in the seventh, shaking off the body shot from earlier and landing the cleaner shots. The fight ended abruptly as the bell rang for the ninth round, as the corner of Collazo called off the fight apparently due to the cut around the eye Collazo stated he just could not see. A lively Thurman took to the microphone after, calling out for Floyd Mayweather to try and take his belt.

At the time of the stoppage, Thurman was up 69-64, 69-64, 68-65.

Other cards at the Sundome Saturday Night

 In the televised co-main event,  middleweights Willie Nelson (24-2-1, 14 KO’s) took the opportunity in a fight that was turning the direction of lack luster and exploded catching the highly dangerous Tony Harrison (21-1, 18 KO’s) handing him his first professional loss. Harrison got rocked by a shot sending him down to the canvas at 2:57 of round nine.

Bantamweight Anthony Russell (3-0, 2 KO’s) was completely dominating against Jaxel Marrero (1-6-1) winning a one sided unanimous decision Judges scores 40-36 all for Russell.

Super Welterweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. (3-0, 2 KO’s) defeats late sub Oscar Gonzalez (9-12, 3 KO’s) from Tampa by unanimous decision win. Gonzalez took the fight right before midnight Saturday night.  Gonzalez jumped in to face Tarver Jr. from the opening bell and applied the pressure.  But Traver Jr. landed body shots and combinations to the head and body of Gonzalez who fought as much as he could but ran on an empty tank the final two rounds. All three judges scores 40-36 for Tarver,Jr.

Welterweight Bruno Bredicean (1-0) from Orlando, Florida wins his professional debut outworking Randy Hedderick (0-4) from Gulfport, Mississippi in a unanimous decision victory. No question Bredicean dominated the entire fight landing most of the pinches in the fight, all three judges scores 40-36 for Bredicean.

Lightweights Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry (34-6-2, 19 KO) stops Luis Cruz (21-4, 16 KO’s). Cruz held his own and boxed Cherry throughout the match but Cherry just kept the pressure on him landing a huge right hook to the face of Cruz in the fifth round. Cruz did not let up keeping his attack to a minimum he just couldn’t capitalize. Cherry crushes Cruz with a hard right hand, then Cruz grabs Cherry and throws himself on top of Cherry sending him to the ground.  Cherry was dazed by the fall was allowed five minutes to recover.  Both fighters exchanged toward the end of the round.  Then in round 9 Cherry has seen enough catching Cruz with a straight right sending Cruz to the canvas. Cherry jumped right on him with another huge right hand ending Cruz night at 2:13 of round nine by KO victory for Cherry.

Super Welterweights Carlos Garcia (8-14,-1, 7 KO’s) from Aguada, Puerto Rico came in the USF Sundome and stole a majority decision win over Tampa Bay’s  Manny Woods (13-4-1, 5 KO’s). Right from the opening bell Woods established himself early by boxing Garcia following a huge right hand bomb to the head of Garcia catching his attention. Both fighters exchanged in the third and fourth rounds. Garcia kept himself in the fight throwing combinations at Woods and Woods continue to blast Garcia  with huge right hands. Judges scores 55-57, 58-56 (2x) for Garcia who pulled off the victory.

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