After a two-and-a-half-year layoff Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) got himself back into the welterweight picture with a points win over Mario Barrios.
‘One-Time’ rarely showed any signs of having been away so long but certainly had to work for his 30th pro win.
While the scorecards (118-110 twice and 117-111) reflected Thurman’s dominance Barrios, who moved up from 140lbs for this fight, was always willing to throw hands and exchange with whatever his ex-world champion had in store for him.
Thurman’s trusted left hook was often in play and stunned Barrios on occasions. The punch would be backed up a second and third in a combination which put his opponent in retreat mode much to the delight of the crowd.
Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs) would spend too long on the inside allowing Thurman to tee off on him, but the Texan’s attitude and own output always kept the favourite on his toes.
While a right hand straight down the middle looked to be a successful shot for Barrios it wasn’t enough in rounds where Thurman was always doing more.
The legs of Barrios were nearly taken him away from him in the eighth when a highlight reel straight right caught him by surprise. Down on the scorecards he was now cut to add to his uphill task. But he wasn’t deterred and despite his facing beginning to look worse for wear the blood seemed to
speak on his behalf when he beckoned Thurman to come forward.
Thurman was looking for his first stoppage win since 2013 and looked to close the show in the remaining seconds of the fight but Barrios would not go down much to his credit.
“One-Time is back!” an enthused Thurman told Jordan Plant in his post-fight interview.
“We had a great performance, a great fight, he [Barrios] has a great future in the sport.”
Of his future, Thuman said: “I want the belts. I want to be back on top. Whoever’s willing to send Keith Thurman a contract let’s go, baby!”
On the undercard there were wins for former world champions Luis Nery and Leo Santa Cruz while there was an upset as Lucas Santamaria decisioned Abel Ramos over 10 rounds.