WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman remained undefeated Saturday night as Luis Collazo retired on his stool after the seventh round at the USF Sundome in Tampa, Fla.
In what has become a formality with the most talented welterweights in the world, Thurman took the chance to call out pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather after his victory.
“I’m a young, strong champion, Floyd, come get it,” Thurman said to the camera during his postfight interview in the ring. “I’m undefeated like you, baby, come take my ‘[zero],’ baby. I’m ready.”
While Thurman may feel he’s ready for Mayweather, things weren’t always easy during the main event of the ESPN primetime debut of the Premier Boxing Champions.
Collazo hurt Thurman with a perfect left hand to the body near the end of the fifth round that forced Thurman to run and try to hold on for the remainder of the round.
“He caught me with a great body shot, but I took it, I endured like a champion does,” Thurman said.
Thurman did indeed endure like a champion, something Collazo couldn’t seem to do after a cut developed near his right eye. Collazo told his corner and the ring doctor after the seventh that he could not see out of the eye and could not continue.
“I couldn’t see nothing,” Collazo (36-7, 19 KOs) said during his postfight interview. “I’m the type of fghter, I keep going if I could. I couldn’t see, so better safe than sorry.”
On the broadcast, ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas said Thurman injured his left hand in training camp and hinted that it might have affected the champion.
Still, Thurman improved to 26-0 with 22 knockouts in his first fight since defeating Robert Guerrero on March 7 on the primetime debut of the Premier Boxing Champions on NBC.
Upset time: On the televised undercard, Willie Nelson shocked prospect Tony Harrison with a knockout at 2:57 of the ninth round in a junior middleweight bout.
Nelson (24-2-1, 14 KOs) was behind on the scorecards of a mostly lackluster fight before delivering a pair of big right hands that floored Harrison (21-1, 18 KOs). Harrison, 24, rose to his feet but looked shaky and turned his back to referee Frank Santore Jr. as Santore called the bout.