Thurman stops Collazo in 8th round

The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Keith Thurman defeated Luis Collazo by technical knockout in the eighth round of their welterweight fight on Saturday night.

With a loud hometown crowd behind him, Thurman aggressively stalked Collazo during the first four rounds and landed a wide assortment of power punches to the head and body. Collazo was cut on the corner of his right eye in the sixth round, and Thurman opened up the cut with several power punches to the face in the seventh.

''I felt good in there,'' Thurman said. ''I've been saying I'm an evolutionary fighter and I showed it tonight. I've always had power, but tonight was champ versus champ boxing.''

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Thurman, who is from Clearwater, Florida, improved to 26-0 with 22 knockouts and retained his WBA regular welterweight title. He is hoping for a shot at Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 12.

''I'd love to have that fight and I could be ready to fight him in two months,'' Thurman said. ''Back in the days boxers fought every other week. I'm undefeated and I'm not afraid to lose my '0.' So if he wants to fight me I'll be ready. If not I'd like to fight Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana or any of the top welterweights out there.''

Collazo, a former world champion, fell to 26-7.

Thurman opened the fifth round with a five-punch combination, but Collazo landed two huge body shots that stunned Thurman and the challenger closed the round strong with a left hook to the head.

''It was a perfect body shot that took 95 percent of the wind out of me,'' Thurman said. ''I actually thought about taken a knee but being the champion I am, I didn't want to do that. But it was probably the best shot I've taken in my career.''

Collazo's corner officially threw in the towel one second into the eighth round.

''The second cut on the top of my right eye was the worst,'' Collazo said. ''I couldn't really see and was constantly wiping the blood away. If I would have come out of my corner again I probably would have gotten caught with some unnecessary shots, and I didn't need that.''

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