Keith Thurman fought Jan Zaveck in the HBO TV opener at Barclays Center on Saturday night in Brooklyn, dominated a game, energetic but offensively overmatched Zaveck, and got unanimous love from the judges, via scores of 120-108, 120-108, 120-108. He takes the WBO intercontinetal 147 pound crown.
Thurman was bombs away early on, but sensed Zaveck's chin was 'A' grade, and spaced out his bombs later on. It was a totally respectable performance for a man in his 20th pro fight, and a solid nothc to add to the resume.
He said he was happy he went 12, to Max Kellerman, and realized that some guys aren't going to cave, some can handle his power. He said he was trying to box smart, and Zaveck kept him guessing. "I'd like to thank the city of Brooklyn for coming out," he said, to mad applause. Zaveck said he gave it his best but his experience didn't show. "I was too slow," he admitted. "Thurman's going to have a very great future."
Thurman went 217-817, to 110-397 for Zaveck, according to CompuBox. The winner went 150-336 on power shots, a 45% rate.
The 19-0 Floridian, age 24, in the first worked the jab and looked to land hard on the Slovenian, who entered with a 32-2 mark. The ex welter champ, age 36, ate a hard left hook, and a solid right cross, and his face was reddened by the end of the round. Thurman moved laterally well, and ripped to the body in two. Zaveck took a couple more risks, knowing he had to do something, or he’d get picked apart. The Slov hung tough in three, and ate more body shots in the fourth. But he kept coming forward, and staying on his feet.
In the fifth, Zaveck body shots that hurt my gut. But he stayed there, though he didn’t win a round to this point, through six. In the seventh, Thurman kept on winning. His power had fallen off somewhat, you didn’t hear the same whap when he landed as in earlier rounds. In the eighth, Zaveck showed more zest in parts of rounds than Thurman did.
A left hookercut was the best of the fight for Thurman in round nine; it snapped back Zaveck’s head and buzzed him slightly. In the tenth, Thurman buzzed Zaveck a couple times. He turned up the gas, sensing a moment. In the 11th, Zaveck still defended well, though his O wasn’t at all threatening. In the 12th, Zaveck came forward, knowing he needed a KO. He didn't get it, and we went to the cards.
TSS U, who'd you like to see Thurman meet next?
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV