For Keith Thurman, Saturday's welterweight title fight with Luis Collazo at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa is a chance for him to add another win to his resume and earn a bout with a top boxer. While many are considering a successful championship defense for the 26 year old a fait accompli, the challenger, Collazo, won't concede a victory to his opponent.
Thurman is the decided favorite, and his betting odds have risen to -10000 at Bovada.lv. But Collazo plans on surprising the boxing world and handing Thurman his first ever loss.
"I've been the underdog all my life," Collazo told reporters on Thursday, via ESPN. "I've been counted out all my life. The other day, I was listening to Muhammad Ali. They counted him out when he was fighting George Foreman. He knew everyone was going against him. He said it. 'I know y'all going against me.' That's the attitude I got. My talking, I do it in the ring.
"I'm trying to pull off the upset again. Anything can happen in this sport. One punch can end everything, so we'll see what happens on Saturday."
If anyone knows about one punch ending a fight, it's Thurman. With the nickname "One Time" because of his knock-out prowess, only four of Thurman's 25 victories have been decided by the judges.
Collazo has never been knocked out, and Thurman's last two victories have come via unanimous decision. But ending the fight within the first few rounds could go a long way in earning Thurman the big bout that he's been looking for.
Floyd Mayweather still hasn't named an opponent for his Sept. 12 fight, and Thurman thinks he should have a shot at the No.1 pound-for-pound boxer.
"I believe I am in the Mayweather sweepstakes, and I believe I deserve the fight," said Thurman, the 26-year-old from Clearwater. "I may get it. But most people are saying I won't. I don't need Mayweather, but it is an entertaining fight for the American public."
Thurman weighed in at 146.2 pounds, while Collazo just made the 147-pound limit. The televised Premier Boxing Champions card will begin with the junior middleweight fight between Tony Harrison and Willie Nelson.
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Online Stream: WatchESPN