By Jim Calfa: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman vs. Mario Barrios is now officially announced for February 5th on FOX PPV in a loaded card from top to bottom. The highly talented former WBA & WBC welterweight champion Thurman will be looking to regain his throne as the top guy at 147 when he faces former WBA ‘regular’ 140-lb champion Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs).
With Thurman’s ability to promote his fights with his trash-talking, his battle with Barrios will likely bring in good numbers on FOX pay-per-view.
Thurman vs. Barrios IS PPV worthy
When the Thurman vs. Barrios fight was first talked about earlier this month, there was complaining by some, who felt that it wasn’t a PPV-worthy fight. We’ll soon see that those fans are wrong, as Thurman-Barrios will bring in significant numbers of buys.
Thurman is the best in the game in building interest in his fights, and it’ll be fun to watch him singlehandedly sell this fight, just like he did when he fought Manny Pacquiao.
In addition to boxing fans seeing the charismatic for #1 welterweight on the planet in Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) returning to the ring after a nearly three-year absence, they’ll be treated with these excellent fights on the undercard:
- Leo Santa Cruz vs. Keenan Carbajal
- Abel Ramos vs. Josesito Lopez
- Luis Nery vs. Carlos Castro
Fans have been waiting for Thurman to get back in the ring since his razor-close 12 round split decision defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao on July 20, 2019.
Since then, Thurman has dealt with injuries, illness, and the regular pandemic stuff that has slowed his return to the ring.
If not for all that, ‘One Time’ Thurman would have been back in the ring in 2020, looking to avenge his loss to Pacquiao, and retake control of his spot as the #1 welterweight on the planet.
Can Thurman make it through training camp?
The only genuine concern about this fight is whether Thurman can make it through training camp without suffering a fight-postponing injury.
As fans already know, Thurman’s frequent injury problems have been well-documented over the years. For some reason, Thurman has proven to be fragile and injury-prone, and that’s not going to change with him nearing his mid-30s at 33.
While some boxing fans have grumbled about Thurman’s choice of opponent in 26-year-old Barrios, this is an excellent choice for ‘One Time.’
You have to remember that Thurman hasn’t fought in almost three years, and it would be an insane idea for him to come back and fight an elite-level welterweight like Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford, or Yordenis Ugas in his first fight back.
Thurman needs a ‘get-back’ fight before he takes on one of the world champions at 147, which will likely be the unbeaten Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) in 2022.
Crawford, 34, has already expressed interest in facing Thurman next year, and he wants that fight to happen as soon as possible.