Why Mario Barrios is the most important fight of Keith Thurman’s career

Keith Thurman returns on February 5th

Keith Thurman returns February 5th against Mario Barrios
Keith Thurman vs Mario Barrios
Keith Thurman returns February 5th against Mario Barrios

After taking a 30-month hiatus from the ring, former unified welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman returns. Since losing the WBA title to Manny Pacquiao in a split decision loss in July 2019. Many questioned and wondered when Thurman would make his return.

Months turned into years as the knockout artist dealt with injuries and delayed returns. Now he has a chance at a comeback against former WBA super lightweight champion Mario Barrios.

Barrios, 26, is coming off a stellar performance against superstar Gervonta Davis who defeated Barrios via 11th round TKO losing the regular WBA super lightweight title. Now both men are coming off losses in which ended their undefeated streak and will look to potentially audition for a fight against Terrance Crawford for his WBO title or the winner of Ugas vs Errol Spence WBA/IBF/WBC unification bout.

Keith Thurman for a brief period in time in the post “Mayweather Era” was hailed as the next big welterweight star. Though losing to a future Hall of Famer in Manny Pacquiao is no knock on him, it’s his inactivity and injury history that has set the questions for him.

Mario Barrios despite going up in weight presents plenty of problems for ‘One Time’. He is younger, and has been more active, and has been healthier in comparison to Thurman. Should Keith Thurman lose what is looked at as a possible title eliminator, it would mean the possible doubt of Thurman’s ability at the top of the division.

Written by Julio Monteros

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