By: Hans Themistode
After spending yet another long stint on the sidelines, former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman is seemingly on his way to returning to the ring.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN, Thurman and former WBA “Regular” 140-pound champion Mario Barrios, have agreed to terms on a January 29th, showdown.
Thurman, 33, was once considered the leading man in the welterweight division. However, since successfully unifying titles against Danny Garcia in March of 2017, the Florida native has suffered numerous setbacks in the form of injuries, causing him to enter the ring just twice in a four-year span.
The now 33-year-old was last seen in the squared circle, giving a spirited effort in a loss against future first-ballot Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao. The two would originally clash in July of 2019. Although he was knocked down in the opening round, Thurman would rally back during the second half of their contest before suffering defeat via split decision.
Since then, Thurman would be forced to sit out yet again. This time, due to ailments to his hand and elbow.
As for Barrios, after capturing a secondary title at 140 pounds, the 26-year-old saw his time near the top of the 140-pound mountain come to an end. Six months prior in June of 2021, the San Antonio native was violently stopped against Gervonta Davis.
Following the first defeat of his career, Barrios flirted with the idea of moving up in weight. The 5’10” former titlist has long detailed his struggles of making the 140-pound limit. Now, with his official move up in weight, Barrios will have his opportunity to prove himself against a former unified champion.
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