Willie Nelson Scores Ninth-Round TKO Over Previously Unbeaten Tony Harrison In Co-Main Event
TAMPA (July 12, 2015) – Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) remained undefeated by stopping Luis Collazo (36-7, 19 KOs) in in the seventh-round in his hometown of Tampa on the inaugural Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN from the USF Sun Dome.
Thurman was in control for much of the fight, using his combinations and a powerful right hand to hurt Collazo consistently. The former world champion would not go down without resistance however, as he continued to stand toe-to-toe with Thurman and hurt him with a left hook to the body in round five that staggered the hometown favorite.
Thurman regained control of the fight and opened up a cut on Collazo’s right eye in round six. That cut would eventually lead to the stoppage by Collazo’s corner after the seventh round, making the stoppage official at 2:59 in round seven.
In the televised opener, the veteran Willie Nelson (24-2-1. 14 KOs) scored an upset over previously unbeaten Tony Harrison (21-1, 18 KOs) with a TKO at 2:57 into the ninth round.
Harrison had been in control of the fight thanks to a strong jab and led on all three judges’ scorecards heading into the ninth round. Nelson however was able to land a series of right hands in the ninth round that staggered and eventually dropped Harrison to the canvas.
Harrison was able to get to his feet before the ten-count, but was deemed unable to continue by referee Frank Santore.
“I felt good in there. 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.
“My team is happy and I’m very happy with my performance. I’m looking to continue this incredible streak. I’m 26-0. If you can beat me then beat me.
“He caught me with a left hook uppercut hybrid shot in the fifth and knocked out almost all of my wind. It was an excellent shot by Luis. I endured like a champion though.
“We trained hard for this camp. Luis Collazo, I want to give it up to him. All respect. He’s a great veteran. He came and he fought hard. We kept picking our shots, giving him a little bit of power every round and we broke him down.
“I beat this fighter and I can beat any fighter.
“This is great for me to pull this off at home. There was lots of pressure and hype. I gave it my best and I came out with the win.
“We want anybody that we can get at the top of the welterweight division; Mayweather, Pacquiao, Porter, Khan, Bradley, Maidana.
“Thank you so much to Tampa Bay, St. Pete and all my home fans here in Florida. I’m going to continue to do you all proud.”
“I was trying to set up body shots any way I could. I saw him moving to the left and was trying to catch him just right. I wish I had more time in that round.
“The second cut on the top of my right eye was the worst. 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.
“I want to fight again for sure. Whoever my team and Al Haymon put in front of me I’ll fight. I’ll take any welterweight.
“This was about the fans tonight. I’m glad I could come down to Tampa and give a great fight.
“Thanks to my fans for all the love and support. Sorry for letting you all down tonight, but I want to fight again so we decided not to continue.”
“I was confident and relaxed tonight. I wanted to take him into deep waters and that’s exactly what I did.
“I’m very happy the whole world got to see me tonight. This is where I belong and I’m just looking to start getting my shots and collecting titles.
“There’s really no specific person that I want next. I’ll take anyone in the 154 lbs division. The only person I won’t fight is Terrell Gausha because we’re so close.
“My coach said to dip down and throw a right hand on top. And he buckled, so I threw another right hand. It was a left uppercut that started the combination and then the right hand.
“I was really just taking my time and being patient. I know I should have not worried about it and just let my hands go. The plan was to take him into deep water, that’s pretty much why I was relaxing, but I got the job done.
“Keep watching me. I’m always the underdog and I embrace it. I took some big punches tonight from Tony (Harrison) and proved my chin.”
“I was pacing myself, but also trying to push it when I could.
“When I went down it was because he hit me behind my head and then when I got up I was looking at my team.
“I let the anxiety get to me. I felt the anxiousness to knock him out, got reckless and got caught with a shot. I felt like I was winning the whole fight with the game plan but I switched it up.
“I lost to a fighter that I shouldn’t have lost to tonight. I was supposed to do better. All props to Willie (Nelson) though.
“All fighters get hit and I’ll be back stronger than ever to get my career back on track.
“I want to thank Al Haymon and ESPN. My head is held high.”
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"PBC on ESPN - THURMAN vs. COLLAZO," was a 12-round fight for Thurman's Welterweight World Championship, that took place Saturday, July 11, at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. The event was promoted by Warrior’s Boxing. In the co-main event, Tony Harrison faced Willie Nelson in a 10-round middleweight bout. It aired live on ESPN (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).
For information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @KeithFThurmanJr, @RealLuisCollazo, @WarriorsBoxingProm and @ESPNBoxing and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/premierboxingchampions and www.Facebook.com/WarriorsBoxingPromo.