Keith Thurman defeated Mario Barrios earlier this month (Photo: Ryan Hafey – Premier Boxing Champions)
By Chris Robinson
No matter how you cut it, it’s always great having someone like Keith Thurman around the sport of boxing.
Thurman (30-1, 22 KO’s) is quite the enigma. I recall the Clearwater, FL native making some noise back in the Tampa area in the late 2000’s, and that buzz carried over as Thurman began piling up wins, fighting more and more outside of his home state, and marching up boxing’s ladder.
As Thurman’s career progressed, he began calling for big name fights with the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana. Thurman was young, brash, full of confidence, and had a certain edge when speaking of his ambitions of facing the sport’s best. And it helped that he knew how to fight, as well as packing a very good punch.
Thurman would end up scoring some big victories, albeit against different champions in Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, respectively, in June of 2016 and March of 2017. Following the defeat of Garcia, Thurman stood as the WBA and WBC welterweight champion of the world, and was regarded by many as the man to beat at 147 pounds.
But since the Garcia victory, Thurman has been off of the radar more than expected, having fought just three times in five-year stretch. Those bouts included a unanimous decision victory over Josesito Lopez, a split-decision loss to legendary Manny Pacquiao, and a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Mario Barrios earlier this month.
Thurman was dropped in the first round against Pacquiao in their July 2019 fight, before rising to make the fight wildly entertaining and competitive. The Barrios victory marked Thurman’s longest spell of inactivity at just under two-and-a-half years.
Thurman is now back in the title hunt, eyeing the division’s champions in Terence Crawford (WBO), Yordenis Ugas (WBA), and Errol Spence Jr. (IBF/WBC). And while he may not be favored in those contests, it’s always intriguing having a fighter like Thurman in the mix.
Win or lose, he makes for compelling drama and terrific fights.
Check below for more from Thurman following the Barrios victory in Las Vegas.
Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com