Former World Champ Keith Thurman Cruised In Saturday Return
Coming back from a long layoff is never easy but former World Welterweight Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman shook off any ring rust he might have had in a 12-round decision win over Mario Barrios Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Thurman, who had been away from the ring since his July 2019 decision loss a future Hall-of-Famer Manny Pacquiao in the first defeat of his career, used his trademark right hand to control the fight and cruise for most of the night.
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) February 6, 2022
Thurman won by scores of 117-111, and two cards of 118-110 in improving to 30-1, 22 KOs. Thurman was headlining for Premier Boxing Champions on a PPV against the former WBA “regular” Jr. Welterweight champ Barrios from the Mandalay Resort on the Vegas strip.
The best of the early rounds was the fifth where Thurman landed with two big right hands to back Barrios into a corner. Then, the most dramatic action of the fight to that point came in the eighth round. That’s when Thurman cut Barrios, now 26-2, over the left eye with a good right hand early in the round. The San Antonio fighter fired back, including landing a hard left of the body to clearly bothered the former WBA 147 lb. world champ.
The 33 year old Thurman shook that off and was still in command in the championship rounds scoring effectively in the 11th. There wasn’t much action in the 12th and final round as Thurman did what he had to do to stay away from a possible Barrios fight-changing haymaker.
“It felt good. I still felt a little ring rust in there,” Thurman told Fox/PPV after the bout. “He was great opponent. He showed a lot of poise. He learned from his last outing. I learned from my last outing. I’m just happy to be back in the ring.”
In the end the nan known as “One Time” had done enough to score his first victory in three years. That’s when he defeated veteran Josesito Lopez in January of 2019.
Now, we wait to see if he can get a title shot against the winner of the upcoming unification bout between IBF/WBC champ Errol Spence and WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas. Thurman might also be in the mix for WBO champ, Terence Crawford, as well.
Earlier in the night, former two division world champ, Leo Santa Cruz also returned from long layoff (16 months) and shutout less experienced Keenan Carbajal 100-90 on all three scorecards in a 10 round win.