By: Sean Crose
The last time Keith Thurman was in the ring was in the summer of 2019 – over two years ago. On that occasion, Thurman was bested in a close, exciting battle with the legendary Manny Pacquiao. Thurman was the younger of the two fighters, plus was an undefeated belt holder with major wins on his resume. Still, it was the aging Filipino fighter who delivered the upset win. Unlike many competitors after a major defeat, Thurman appeared to take his first loss well. As had happened before, however, the Floridian then spent significant time away from the boxing game.
Now it’s been announced that the fighter known as “One Time” is back. The man has said he’d be back before, but this time it seems Thurman is actually ready to return to the ring. For it’s been announced he’ll be facing Mario Barios on February fifth. Thurman has always been an exciting, skilled and interesting fighter, so fans will no doubt be happy to see him return. The fact that the Barrios fight will be a pay per view event will most likely dampen the excitement, however, as boxing is now at the point where fights worthy of cable are now costing an arm and a leg to view – at least that’s the case with some fights presented by Premiere Boxing Champions.
With all that being said, Thurman-Barios will have some competition, as there will be numerous interesting cards that weekend, which will appear on DAZN and ESPN+ respectively. It appears that PBC is content in knowing their pay per views won’t always bring in a massive audience, but will generally bring in enough to keep their top fighters well paid and in the public eye.
Now thirty-three years old, Thurman boasts a very impressive record of 29-1. Throughout this career the man has faced the likes of Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, and Robert Guerrero, and emerged victorious. Thurman has good power, can rise to the occasion when things get hairy (he came close to beating Pacqiuao after being dropped in the first, for instance), and has an intriguing personality. He has the makings of a legit star, so long as he fights regularly, hasn’t lost a step, and manages to win more than he loses.
Barios, however, is no joke. Boasting a record of 26-1, the Texan has lost but one fight, and that was to Gervonta Davis his last time in the ring back in June. This is a second chance at an enormous upset for the 26 year old, one Barios clearly aims to make the most of.
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