Keith Thurman fighting WBC title welterweight eliminator against Mario Barrios

Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman found out this week that his fight against Mario Barrios will be a WBC 147-lb title eliminator on February 5th to decide the mandatory challenger for champion Errol Spence Jr.

The World  Boxing Council making Thurman’s fight with Barrios a 147-lb title eliminator with their organization greatly increases the importance of the fight.

Now it’s not just a regular comeback fight for former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs), it’s a fight that will lead to a big fight for the winner against the Spence vs. Yordenis Ugas winner of their April unification.

Before finding out the news of his fight with Barrios being a WBC 147lb title eliminator, Thurman was targeting WBO champion Terence Crawford for his next fight in the summer, but that fight is no longer needed or desired for ‘One Time.’

Thurman likes the idea of facing the Spence vs. Ugas winner because he’s got a chance to fight for three titles instead of just one against Crawford. The only thing that would mess up Thurman’s opportunity to fight for three titles is if Spence chooses to vacate his WBC title.

“I would have to say he’s NOT on the list,” said Thurman said to FOX Sports in ruling out Crawford as the next fight. “I love the fight.

“So if it hasn’t been fully announced, this is my way of announcing it,” said Thurman about his fight with Barrios being a WBC title eliminator.

“I know that what they do in boxing is for a reason, and I know the only reason the WBC can request such a thing a week prior to a fight.

“They have no right to check my weight UNLESS this fight on February 5th is a title eliminator, which I knew was a strong possibility of being on the books,” said Thurman.

The WBC must like #4 Thurman a lot for them to make his comeback fight a welterweight world title eliminator, considering that ‘One Time’ hasn’t fought in almost three years, and Barrios isn’t ranked in the top 15 in the WBC’s rankings.

If you’re one of the contenders in the WBC’s top 5, you can’t be too happy about learning of Thurman’s fight against Barrios being a welterweight title eliminator.

Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Mario Barrios boxing image / photo
LAS VEGAS, NV – AUG 20: Keith Thurman at the official weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the upcoming Fox Sports PBC pay-per-view fight night on August 20, 2021. The Pacquiao vs Ugas pay-per-view will be on August 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Scott Kirkland/Fox Sports/PictureGroup)

There are higher-ranked contenders that have been skipped over by the WBC with their move to sanction Thurman vs. Barrios as a title eliminator. What makes it even more troubling is the fact that Thurman and Barrios are both coming off of losses.