Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman at 33 has a lot of lost time to make up after nearly three years out of the ring. The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) says he wants to recapture his lost titles in 2022 and he starts his journey achieving that goal on February 5th against Mario Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) on FOX Sports pay-per-view at the Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas.
It’s going to be next to impossible for Thurman to get a title shot this year because IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr. will be facing WBA champion Yordenis Ugas next, and the winner could face WBO champ Terence Crawford for the undisputed championship.
It might be a good thing for Thurman to take his time before he challenges for a world title because he’s been out of the ring for such a long time and he’s not going to be ready to dethrone Spence, Ugas, or Crawford.
Thurman is still bitter about his performance in his last fight against Manny Pacquiao in July 2019, as he felt he could have done better if he’d put more pressure on the Filipino star in the second half.
Going into that fight, Thurman had to trim off 35 pounds that put on since his previous match against Josesito Lopez ln January of that year. For the Barrios fight, Thurman hasn’t had to take off nearly as much weight, and he’s injury-free.
“I want my world titles back. This is the first step to putting myself back in championship contention,” said Thurman. “I see the welterweight division like a horse race. The finish line is where you are crowned king of the division.
It would be a better look on Thurman’s part for him to show that he’s worthy of getting a title shot. He needs to fight an actual welterweight, and preferably one ranked in the top 5.
Barrios, 26, is a good fighter, but he’s NOT a 147-pounder. He’s a fighter that is coming up in weight from 140 after losing to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis last June.
“Keith Thurman is still in the mix. I’m running behind those current champions, but I’m the type of horse that once it hits the curve, they’ll know I’m right on their tail,” said Thurman.
I don’t think Thurman is going to be able to get a shot for him to prove himself this year. If he keeps winning, he’ll be given a shot.
“With the right speed, determination and momentum, I have the skills to once again rise to the top and reclaim my number one spot in the welterweight division. It’s my time to rise. One time, it’s go time,” said Thurman.