WBA “super” welterweight champion Keith Thurman returns to the ring for the first time in almost two years to defend his title against Josesito Lopez on January 26th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The bout will be televised on FOX in the USA and on ITV4 in the UK.
Tale of the Tape – Thurman vs. Lopez
|Keith Thurman||Josesito Lopez|
|Record||28-0-0 (22 KOs)||36-7-0 (19 KOs)|
|Nickname||“One Time”||“The Riverside Rocky”|
|Country||United States||United States|
|Height||5’7 1/2″||5’9 1/2″|
Fight Breakdown – Thurman vs. Lopez
Though he has only fought twice in the past two-and-a-half years, Keith Thurman is regarded as one of the best welterweights in the world. With wins over names like Robert Guerrero, Shawn Porter, and most recently (March 2017) Danny Garcia, Thurman has probably the best (recent) resume at 147 pounds.
Josesito Lopez is a former world title challenger best known for breaking Victor Ortiz’s jaw back in 2012 to win the WBC silver welterweight title. Following his win over Ortiz, Lopez moved up to 154 pounds to challenge Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for his WBC title, where he was TKO’d in five rounds. Since then, Lopez is 6-2 with stoppage losses to Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto.
Lopez is a tough, experienced boxer who has faced top opposition on numerous occasions. He has a good jab which he throws often to the head and body, and he has shown a bit of inside fighting ability as well. Though he shows decent hand speed and movement at times, I would not consider him a fast or athletic fighter. Lopez is also not a particularly hard puncher; just one of his last six wins came by knockout.
Keith Thurman can be best described as an athletic boxer-puncher. He possesses power in both hands, fast feet, and a good chin as well as solid counter-punching ability. Thurman can get wild at times and forget to utilize his jab, but overall he has solid technique and he certainly knows how to land his power shots with a variety of combinations.
The key to victory for Josesito Lopez has to be to use his jab and stay on the outside. Thurman likes to lead with his overhand right and Lopez needs to stay at distance to make it easier to see coming. At close range, Lopez should go the body hard (where Thurman been hurt before) and then try to tie up Thurman, as he does not have the hand speed to mix it with “One Time” on the inside. Look for Thurman to use his feet to close the gap and then use his superior firepower once inside of Lopez’s jab.
Prediction – Thurman vs. Lopez
I predict a late-round TKO victory for Keith Thurman. Despite being out of the ring for such a long period of time, I still feel like Thurman has all the tools needed to stop the 34-year-old Lopez and will be looking to prove to everyone that he is still at the top of the division.
Lopez is tough and the fight could certainly end up going the distance, but I believe Thurman will go for the knockout once he gets some rounds in and shakes off the ring rust. Expect this to be a pretty good fight and a way for those watching to gauge where Thurman is at right now.
Will Thurman be able to knockout Lopez? Does Lopez have any chance to shock the world and become a world champion? Who should Thurman face next if he wins? Comment below with your opinion.