LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Entering Saturday’s welterweight bout, Mario Barrios was 17-0 against fighters who were coming off a loss.
It was something fans of San Antonio’s former world champ hope would continue against Keith “One Time” Thurman, a veteran welterweight who last fought Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in 2019 and lost by split decision.
When Barrios fought Gervonta Davis last summer, he came out battling Davis from the start.
That was not the same Saturday night in Las Vegas as Barrios fought in his second straight pay-per-view bout. Thurman looked strong and very quick in his punches and counter-punches. Thurman definitely didn’t look like a former world champ who hadn’t fought in two and a half years.
Despite a cautious attack from Barrios, Thurman continued to outland his opponent throughout the fight. Thurman landed a strong left hook towards the end of the fourth round, which seemed to make Barrios off-balanced.
Before the start of the fifth round, it was clear Barrios was bleeding from the nose and had a cut above his left eye. Barrios would suffer a deeper cut above the same eye later in the fight.
“El Azteca” got quality shots on Thurman and won a few later rounds despite Thurman staying active and never easing off his steady attack. Thurman spent time looking for his shots but never overwhelmed Barrios to the point he would be knocked out or even knocked down.
By the eighth round, Barrios had a significant amount of blood pouring down the left side of his face from those two cuts above the eye. Despite that, it was Barrios’ best round at that point, landing a body shot to Thurman that caused him to back up and remove his mouthpiece to catch his breath.
In true form as we’ve seen from Barrios, he never retreated and continued throwing punches until the very end.
Thurman won by unanimous decision 118-110, 118-110 and 117-111. Barrios is now 26-2 with 17 knockouts.
After the fight, Barrios said this was the fight he was expecting and that they were happy with the outcome, even though he did not get the win.
Solid comeback performance by Thurman, who landed 15 of 55 punches per round and 48% of his power punches vs. the passive Barrios, who landed 9 of just 41 punches thrown per round and threw over 50 punches in a round just One Time. @PBConFOX pic.twitter.com/CkWlR7YVSs— CompuBox (@CompuBox) February 6, 2022
Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 18 years and is an award-winning producer. To submit story ideas, email email@example.com