Steve Willis stole the show in what was the victory of Keith Thurman over Josesito Lopez in the cards. World welterweight champion Keith Thurman of the United States returned triumphant to the ring after defeating compatriot Josesito Lopez by majority decision and retained his world title endorsed by the World Boxing Association (WBA) for the fifth time.
However, one of the protagonists of the evening was the referee Steve Willis, whose face went viral after his gestures invaded social networks during the seventh round of the bout, one of the fiercest they played in the Barclays Centre of Brooklyn.
“THE BASEBALL, THE FOOTBALL, THE AMERICAN ETC everyone needs to have a Steve Willis”, get someone who loves you as much as Ref Steve Willis see Boxer “is to destroy the faces wildly” and “I want someone to be so interested in me as much as Steve Willis in boxing,” were some of the hundreds of messages that users shared on social networks.
Steve Willis reactions
Willis is rapidly becoming a big name in the sport of boxing, not least for the enthusiasm he shows when he is in the ring. But the New York native is also one of the most experienced officials operating in the sport in America. He has been registered as a professional referee since 2003 and now takes charge of some of the biggest fights in the country.
Before taking up the role on a full-time basis he enjoyed a career working in hotel security and fire safety for some of the biggest travel chains in the US.
The judge lived an exciting fight that was defined in the cards (117-109, 115-111 and 113-113 in the third). Thurman returned after 22 months due to two major injuries and showed the spectators who attended the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, he is in good condition.
The champion, born in Clearwater (Florida), who at 30 is 29-0 with 22 knockouts, had not boxed since the victory against Danny Garcia, also at the Barclays Centre, to unify world titles in March 2017. Thurman hit 247 of 899 punches (28 percent), while Lopez managed 117 of 513 (23 percent).
At the end of the match, Thurman said his goal is to face Filipino Manny Pacquiao. If Pacquiao does not get a rematch later this year with Floyd Mayweather Jr., he said he is willing to face any of the other top fighters.