WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman returns to the ring to defend his belt against Josesito Lopez at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Friday night.

A Special Talent

No doubt, Keith “One Time” Thurman is a special talent that doesn’t come along often in the sport of boxing. However, Thurman’s career has been defined more by his absence rather than his presence in the boxing ring. The 30-year old Thurman was on the verge of superstardom when he headlined the first ever PBC show against Robert “Ghost” Guerrero in 2015. He won that bout and then went on fight Luis Collazo later that year. He then took one year off before defeating Shawn Porter by decision. But in the next 30 months, he fought just once, defeating Danny Garcia by split decision in March 2017. Now 30, Thurman hopes to get back his luster after spending the last two years recovering from shoulder and hand injuries. Thurman has a record of 28-0 with 22 knockouts.  One-Time stands at 5-7 and has a 79 inch reach.

What’re the Odds?

Keith Thurman vs Josesito Lopez
Moneyline Odds: Thurman -5000, Lopez +1600
Over/Under Odds: Over 9.5 +125, Under 9.5 -145
Odds from betonline.ag as of 1/26/19

Tough As they Come

California’s Josesito Lopez is as tough as they come. He’s a 15 year veteran who once faced Mike Dallas Jr., Jessie Vargas, Victor Ortiz, Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana in consecutive fights. Although he was able to hang with those big names but he went 2-3 against them, winning over Mike Dallas and Victor Ortiz. His losses to Alvarez and Maidana were by knockout just as his most recent loss against Andre Berto was. The bout against Canelo was for the WBC middleweight title and the second time he fought for a world title was against Andre Berto in 2015. Since losing to Berto, Lopez has put together three straight wins against unheralded foes. He enters this bout with a record of 35-7-0-1 with 19 knockouts. The 5-9 Lopez has a reach of 69 inches and he fights out of the orthodox stance.

The Prediction

Josesito Lopez is the perfect bounce back opponent for Keith Thurman. He should be able to make this a good fight but he isn’t likely going to cause Thurman much trouble. Lopez doesn’t possess heavy hands and without the punching power, Thurman could just walk right through him and test his chin. However, given that Keith Thurman is coming off two and a half years of layoff, he might opt to earn a few more rounds under his belt before taking on the big names. That said, I think Lopez is a tough cookie and if Thurman fights with ring rust, this could get more interesting. But all things considered, I think Keith Thurman wins by a wide unanimous decision over Josesito Lopez.

Betting Prediction

b>Prediction: Keith Thurman by decision. However, since Thurman costs too much at the Moneyline, I’m betting using the over /under. My pick? Thurman wins by decision so I going with over 9.5 round.

Place Your Bet Here

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