Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) doesn’t view himself as having been languishing doing nothing for the last couple of years inactive. He feels that he’s been waiting in the same way the ancient Roman gladiators waited in between life & death battles in the colosseum.
The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman will be fighting for the first time since 2019 when he fights his hand-picked opponent Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) in the headliner on FOX PPV at the Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas.
Thurman could have fought Abel Ramos, but he chose Barrios because he has a better record, and he’s a former WBA ‘regular’ light-welterweight champion.
Both Thurman and Barrios will look to rebound from their first career defeats with statement victories on February 5 to put them back on the path toward another world title. Thurman will be returning to the ring after a 30-month absence, which is the longest of his career. Barrios will be testing himself at 147-pounds for the first time in his pro career and against one of the best and most experienced welterweights in the sport.
The 33-year-old Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has assembled one of the most impressive resumes among the top welterweights of this generation, having defeated former champions like Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Robert Guerrero. The Clearwater, Florida native took the first loss of his career when he dropped a close decision to Manny Pacquaio in a 2019 Fight of the Year in his last outing.
“It’s been a long time coming for my return to the ring, and I can’t wait to compete again,” said Thurman. “In 2022, I will remind the world of boxing that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is a fighter not to forget. I look not to the past nor to the future, I’m back now, and I’m ready to fight. I dream big, and now is the time to make that dream a reality. Get ready, because I’m putting in the work to put on a show against Mario Barrios on February 5 on pay-per-view. It’s begun and my time is now.”
Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs), 26, will be stepping up to a major challenge when he faces Thurman. The San Antonio native will be going against a seasoned welterweight in Thurman. Barrios will own a three-inch height advantage against Thurman and will look to use that to his advantage in establishing himself at 147 pounds.