Via Dan Ambrose: Mario Barrios will be looking to make former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman regret choosing him as his return opponent on February 5.
If Barrios beats Thurman, it could end the former champion’s comeback attempt, sending him home to Florida in defeat.
To increase his chances of winning, Thurman picked a 5’10” Barrios light heavyweight to take on FOX PPV at Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas.
This could have been another blunder by Thurman, as he was faced with a boxer at the top of his game and who gave Gervonta ‘The Tank’ Davis all he could handle this season. Last summer.
Unlike Thurman, former WBA 140-lb champion Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) fights regularly, and he returned to the gym almost immediately after his loss to Gervonta Davis last June.
After two and a half years out of the ring, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has decided to come back and try to claim one or more world titles. We still know if that’s true for 33-year-old Thurman.
If this is a money move on the part of ‘One Time’ Thurman, just winning the title against IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr or WBO champion Terence Crawford would be enough for him to pocket millions. whatever the outcome.
Can Thurman get back into the mix at 147?
“Keith Thurman, who hasn’t fought since losing his title, comes with the only professional fight he’s ever lost by a split decision in his fight against Manny Pacquiao,” Max Kellerman said. Max on boxing.
“It was 2 and a half years ago at this point facing Mario Barrios, who was recently knocked out by Tank Davis, a smaller guy. It’s a comeback fight for Thurman, but what else is interesting about it? ”
Barrios gave the Tank one of the most brutal battles of his career last summer and may have taken something from him.
Tank wasn’t nearly as good as it used to be in a game last December against Isaac Cruz, and it was his first match after the win over Barrios.
“I loved this fight because Keith Thurman was once the top heavyweight in the world, even when the divisions were stacked,” said Mike Coppinger.
“Been laid off for 31 months, so is ring rust a problem? We don’t know but what we do know is that Mario Barrios is a perfectly suitable opponent who is about to be out for a long time.
“Yes, a younger guy. He is killing himself to make 140. I want to see if Keith Thurman could be right back in the mix against the likes of Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford.
Keith Thurman’s Coppinger said: “I think he’s a good fit for that.
“He does; he’s an excellent fighter,” Kellerman said of Thurman. “Thurman, it seems to me, Mike, if you look at these next-level boxers, and it makes sense. why is everyone looking at Crawford and Spence and saying, ‘That’s two guys.’
It may not be possible to undo Thurman to try and blend back into the mix with the current 147 lb split.
Yes, there’s no doubt Thurman will be given a chance for a major skirmish if he defeats Barrios, but his chances of defeating Spence, Crawford or Yordenis Ugas are slim.
Thurman-Barrios = gunfight
“Even before Thurman lost to Pacquiao, Crawford and Spence separated themselves at least by eyeball tests, right?” Kellerman said. “They look a little bit different, and Keith Thurman, part of the appeal is that he’s not only good, but he’s good at hitting.”
Thurman showed signs of losing something from his game during his bout before losing to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019. During Thurman’s fight with Josesito Lopez in January 2019, he was injured and nearly like no escape.
“He does great action-packed fights. What kind of combat do you expect here? “Kellerman said of Thurman.
Coppinger of the battle Thurman vs. “I fully expect a shootout, and it’s going to be a great act,” Barrios said. “Thurman doesn’t always come forward, but he’s always available to trade there, and he’s also a great personality.
“We’re talking about a guy who plays a tape recorder. He’s a great personality, and he’s an acclaimed old version, now back again in the heavyweight mix. Who knows when we’ll get Spence and Crawford? “
“I agree; he’s an interesting guy,” said Thurman’s Kellerman.
“The knockdown with Pacquiao taking him down, that was the difference in the fight, really. It was a war. It would be great if Thurman is back in the ring,” Kellerman said.
A gunfight would be very risky for Thurman because he’s not a big welding weight at 5’7″, and his stamina might not be good enough for him to fight hard in the game. more than four to six sets without gas.
Mario Barrios jumped into this fight
“As soon as it was given to me, I said to my manager, ‘Get it. It was a fight that I enjoyed,” Mario Barrios told the PBC Podcast about his fight with Thurman.
Beating Thurman would be great for Barrios’ career, opening the door to a rematch with him or a title shot against Spence or Crawford.
“I know Keith is going to have a good time laying off and will have a point to prove,” Barrios said. “I’m not looking, either he’s slacking off or he’s not having it. I think he’s in there hungry, strong and in the best shape of his life.
“I’m looking forward to a great fight coming on February 5th,” Barrios said of the match against Keith Thurman on FOX PPV. “I took a couple of weeks off, and then I went right back to the gym.
“I’m always busy and there’s never been too much time that I’m away from the boxing gym.
“I felt like I boxed great, and it was a very competitive match,” Barrios said of his title fight last June against WBA lightweight champion Gervonta’ Tank’ Davis.
“I felt we were bringing out the best in each other, and at the end of the game he caught me with some good shots. Even if the game was postponed, I felt as if we could definitely continue, but that’s me.
“I understand that the referee is there to make a decision based on the boxer’s health and the referee has made a case that he feels is necessary.
“I can’t say anything about it, but I’m very happy, even though I lost. I had a lot of people come check on me after the game, and I really appreciate that,” Barrios said.
Thurman will put in excellent effort as long as his fitness remains, but it’s unlikely he’ll fight to the full in 12 complete rounds.
Mario wants to show off his talent
“That fight motivated me more than it let me down. It’s getting pretty tough,” said Barrios when asked if it would be difficult for him to make 140. It’s a decision that will be made pretty soon, even before we’ve agreed to go into the match. with the Tank.
“Even in that fight, I considered and did everything in the best possible way. I feel like I’m still going strong in that fight, and there’s no excuse.
“The move to the heavyweight class has been around for a long time, and now that we’re making this move, things are going well with the weight and everything. It’s a lot more natural to me and a lot more comfortable.
“Fitness, strength, speed, everything. I feel great right now,”
Barrios said of his move to 147. “I was in the super heavyweight classes, natural 154.
“I looked great there and I’m really looking forward to showing my talent and ability in the heavyweight division,” Barrios said.