“It's ‘One Time' all over again!“
Jab Hook's Foreword to the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, New York, January 26, 2019, (Fox/DAZN.de): Keith Thurman vs Josesito Lopez boxing in a 12 round prizefight for Thurman's WBA welterweight belt.
Jab Hook is very excited about calling the comeback fight of one of his favorite contemporary boxers.
Sometimes you feel a certain affinity to a boxer, and Thurman is like that. Jab knows his Clearwater, FL hometown well, and really likes Keith's attitude, his slight lisp, his eclectic background and “new world“ orientation. Most of all, Jab really appreciates his slick boxing style and “One Time“ power.
Having followed his early career, Jab recalls the one and only time Thurman has been on the canvas. It was in the 1st round against journeyman Quandray Robinson in September 2010 at the Staples Center. Keith got up, put Robinson down in the first and secondrounds, and knocked him out in the third. Robinson never fought again.
It's been almost two years since we've had the pleasure of seeing Thurman box, but his last two performances in the ring were impressive. In June 2016 he fought a wonderful bout of contrasting styles with Shawn Porter. It was all action with a give and take flow that eventually went “One Time's“ way via unanimous decision over Porter.
Thurman fought Danny Garcia in March 2017, winning a very close bout by split decision to unify the WBA and WBC 147-pound titles. He underwent right elbow surgery soon after, taking the rest of the year off. A series of new injuries, including one to his left hand in March last year, scuttled a bout vs tbd that was set for May 19th, 2018. So Thurman relinquished his WBC belt. In September 2018, Porter took the vacant WBC belt from Danny Garcia at Brooklyn's Barclay in another close welterweight title bout. Somehow, Keith Thurman's WBA belt has remained intact (no comment).
Boomerang! This is Keith Thurman's third time in a row at the Barclay Center and if history repeats itself, we should get to enjoy some real action and fine boxing. But wait a minute, in twenty-two months and twenty-two days “One Time” has not been one time in the ring. Boxing is a thing of timing and precision, it is a fast as the reflexes allow kinda thing. This is especially true for a quick welterweight with very quick combinations who relies upon accuracy and creative angles in his punching. You can be sure Keith is in great shape, well-healed and strong. But sparring in the gym is not fighting in the ring. So how much ring rust will we notice and how will he deal with “The Riverside Rocky”?
Josesito Lopez is a veteran, three time world title contender who went pro as a teenager and has never looked back. A decade and a half later he is closing in on fifty career bouts. Always the “B-side” boxer, “The Riverside Rocky” has fought some of the best welterweights of his generation, and lost to most of them. Over his career, Josesito has been down seven times in four bouts. The last time was when he lost to Andre Berto in March 2015. Lopez won his next three bouts in a row. In his last bout against an undefeated club fighter from the Florida circuit named Miguel Cruz, Lopez dominated the fight despite suffering a number of low blows. But that tells us little about his chances vs Thurman.
On paper the matchup looks very good for the WBA Champ, but Jab feels that Thurman has chosen a very tough “warm up” bout. “The Riverside Rocky” is the bigger guy, he's been there and done that in boxing. He is gritty and knows all the tricks. The dude upset Victor Ortiz in 2012 and broke his jaw, OK? Josesito Lopez has nothing to lose, which is often a source of creative, high-risk strategies for title bouts. Jab is therefore anticipating a tense match that will not disappoint. “One Time” Thurman could certainly have chosen an easier comeback opponent. Jab admits, that is why Keith is one of his favorite contemporary boxers, and also why he must be careful to be objective while calling his bout this weekend.
Check NYFights.com later this week for Jab Hook's predictions on the bouts from the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, New York City, January 26th, 2019.
“Jab Hook”, aka “Brooklyn” Joe Healy is a boxing expert commentator for DAZN.de, a professional cutman from the BOXWERK gym, and a licensed referee/judge in amateur boxing. A lifelong aficionado born in Brooklyn and living in Munich, “The Sweet Science” is his passion. Please feel free to contact him as Jab Hook on FaceBook, at Aficion[email protected], or on Twitter https://twitter.com/BoxAficionado