Monday, February 17, 2020

Keith Thurman targets Manny Pacquiao after retaining WBA welterweight title


Keith Thurman made a comeback coming from a 22-month layoff to get over Josesito Lopez via majority decision on Saturday night to retain his welterweight title as well as set his sights with a showdown with Manny Pacquiao.

Thurman got off to the fast get started with a second-round knockdown, withstood a major seventh round from Lopez, and regained control to boost to 29-0. It had been the WBA champion’s first fight since 4 March 2019, before he was sidelined first by right elbow surgery and an injured left hand.

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Both looked normal again inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and so did Thurman’s legs, as he moved well to mostly avoid trouble against Lopez, who kept coming forward in the fight but often got caught with uppercuts and combinations for his efforts. “He came right for me,” Thurman said. “I said can you see the best Keith Thurman tonight, but you’d still go to the world-class performance, and that i gave you that tonight.”

He’d likely need a better one about the 40-year-old Pacquiao, who showed he has plenty getting a hassle-free victory over Adrien Broner last week. “I would most likely definitely use the Manny Pacquiao fight in 2010,” Thurman said. “I feel good. That is a beautiful fight. I’m all set to fight wherever Pacquiao wants it.”

Lopez (36-8) stalked all night long and had Thurman hurt during the seventh round, but otherwise Thurman’s speed stopped Lopez getting back in suitable position to obtain enough power on his punches. “I was disappointed I couldn’t finish him and get him away from there,” Lopez said. “If he thinks he’s the most beneficial welterweight available, i then want two through five lined up personally.”

In the co-main event, Polish power puncher Adam Kownacki stopped Gerald Washington inside second round of the heavyweight bout. Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs), with entire areas the stands behind his corner stuffed with Polish fans wearing red, had Washington caught against the ropes late from the first round and dropped him after the right-hand at the start of the next.

Washington struggled to receive up, first falling backward to the bottom rope, before rising. Referee Harvey Dock let Washington continue but not for long, stepping straight into stop it at 1:09 on the round after Kownacki quickly pounced and hurt Washington again.

“I trained challenging for this fight,” Kownacki said. “I prepared for 10 hard rounds, but I’m glad I obtained it done and ended becoming fast while i did.”

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