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Keith Thurman vs Josesito Lopez Title Bout Preview

by Daniel Gerbick on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

thurman vs lopez january2019Saturday will mark the return of Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) to the ring after a hiatus of more than 21 months, as he takes on Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs) to defend his WBA Superwelterweight title at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Thurman won his title in a March 2017 unification fight against WBC’s Danny Garcia, which he won by split decision. After that fight it was revealed that he would have to be out of the ring for at least six months following surgery on his right elbow.

Due to several health-related setbacks, he could not step back in the ring until now and because of that in April of last year, he had to relinquish his WBC welterweight championship due to inactivity.

Although this is not the combat fans wanted to see Thurman fighting it will be a good tune-up opportunity for the defending champion as he goes against a perfectly acceptable comeback opponent. After such a big period of inactivity, Thurman needed a fight of this level before moving on to fight a world-class opponent again.

Lopez is a more than a deserving opponent that has proven that he’s ready to put up a good fight every time he steps on the ring. He’s likely to force Thurman to go at least five or six rounds and help him shake the cobwebs off him.

This will be Lopez’s first bout since April when he defeated the previously unbeaten American Miguel Cruz in El Paso via a unanimous decision. In Thurman, Lopez is looking to take down a second unbeaten boxer in a row and third overall as in 2011 he also beat Michael Dallas Jr. when he owned a 17-0 record.

Although Lopez is the underdog Thurman should not take this fight lightly. If Thurman wants to win, he’d better treat this bout as a legitimate title defense and not as comeback or tune-up fight because if he does Lopez could surprise him and wreck his plans.

Realistically, though Thurman is the younger and more talented fighter in the ring and he should win as he has quicker feet and more punching power than Lopez.

Thurman has a lovely jab and the faster hands of the two. If injuries have not impacted his explosiveness and hampered his fighting style he should win this fight via knockout.

Should Thurman win, his team could start looking for tougher opponents such as Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, and Shawn Porter among others.

 

 

 

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