The Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) makes it debut at ESPN on Saturday as WBA regular welterweight champion Keith Thurman defends his title against the seasoned veteran Luis Collazo at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida.


Known as one of the sport’s most vicious knockout artists, Thurman enters the bout with 21 knockouts in 25 wins.However, the man known in boxing circles as “One-Time” hopes to be known not just for his devastating punching power but also for his reign as welterweight champion.

Thurman, who is making the fifth defense of his title, made known his plans to unify boxing’s most competitive and richest weight class. But before he gets to the other champions, he must first get past the rugged Collazo who incidentally held the same WBA welterweight belt way back in 2005.

One Chance

Despite losing just once in his last six fights, this title shot may be the one last chance for the 34 year old Collazo who has lost virtually every big fight he’s had in his career. After Collazo lost his title to Ricky Hatton in 2006, he’s also lost to big-named fighters like Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, Freddy Hernandez and most recently Amir Khan.

The Brooklyn native rebounded from his one-sided loss to Khan with a 2nd round TKO win over little-known Chris Dellogado last april 11. But he’ll have his hands full against the hard-hitting Thurman, who along with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Britain’s Kell Brook are the only undefeated top dogs at 147 pounds.

Losing KO Luster

Thurman is coming-off a unanimous decision win over former lightweight champion Robert Guerrero last March 7, 2015. And although Thurman knocked Guerrero down in the 9th round, he wasn’t able to finish him off and even allowed Guerrero to make a spirited comeback in the championship rounds.

Prior to Guerrero, Thurman also scored a knockdown against Leonard Bundu but also failed to put away for good, settling for a UD win. In his last six fights, Thurman has failed to knock out three opponents, prompting his critics to say that he’s beginning to lose the KO luster as the level of opposition has gradually increased.

Who Takes This?

Thurman is a huge -5000 favorite to beat the +1200 underdog Collazo, with the odds of him winning by KO set at -200. He didn’t say directly that he will knock Collazo out, instead he said that he will box him smart and put the hurt on him. But with the fight to be held just some 20 minutes from his hometown of Clearwater, Florida, Thurman will most definitely look for the big win for his home crowd and to get his name closer to a Floyd Mayweather fight.

Collazo is unfazed by Thurman’s resume and he relishes the underdog tag which he’s embraced throughout his career. Collazo has seen some of the best at 147, the problem is that he’s been unable to step up his game against top level competition. He’s never been knocked out before, but against a hungry young champion like Thurman who has the world ahead of him, it’s going to be mission impossible for Luis Collazo.

Thurman is going to box intelligently and pick his spots. But once he hurts Collazo, you know he’s going to be like a buzzsaw. Thurman should soften Collazo in the first three rounds then start to punish him from there. A knockout is likely in the middle rounds although Collazo is very durable and may last longer.

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