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Keith Thurman & Willie Nelson score stoppage wins on ESPN’s debut of PBC

Credit: Lucas Noonan / PBC

Keith Thurman and Willie Nelson emerged victorious in their respective fights on Saturday night, with the debut of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN. Thurman scored a stoppage win over tough but outgunned Luis Collazo, while Nelson ripped the “0” away from an undefeated, and untested, Tony Harrison.

Thurman controlled much of his fight against Collazo, although the Brooklyn fighter had a few key moments. In the 5th, a body shot to the liver nearly sent Thurman down, and threatened to be his undoing. But he was able to stay on his feet as Collazo poured on pressure for the final 30 seconds of the round.

Already though, Collazo had been dealing with swelling on his left eye. Soon after, Thurman opened a bad cut over Collazo’s right eye. After the 7th round, Collazo’s corner threw in the towel, as Collazo was having difficulty seeing. Thurman wins via TKO7, and he went on to call for a fight with Floyd Mayweather.

In the co-feature, Willie Nelson showed that you don’t just get to become a “rising star” as Tony Harrison was so often touted in the past few weeks without actually defeating anyone of note. Harrison was doing a good job controlling the fight with his crisper, more technical boxing, however, Nelson came on strong and stopped the previously unbeaten fighter.

A few big shots followed by a crushing right hook sent Harrison flying backwards in the 9th. He was able to beat the count, but only to stumble into the corner, at which point the referee called off the fight. Nelson wins via TKO9, and gets himself right back in the mix at 154 lbs.