Keith Thurman vs. Mario Barrios fight results, highlights: ‘One Time’ returns from layoff to pick up solid win

Inactive for a 30-month career due to injury and fluke, former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman managed to regain his name among boxing’s elite at 147 pounds on Saturday.

Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) boxed smart and landed the hardest punches throughout to cut and pass Mario Barrios inside the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. All three judges in the Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view main event were unanimous in favor of Thurman by scores of 117-111 and 118-110 (twice). CBS Sports was also 118-110 for Thurman.

“It was good. I still smelled a little ring rust, but it was amazing,” Thurman said. “I had a great opponent and he learned from his last outing and [so did I]. I am so grateful to everyone who brought me to this position and I look forward to a great year. 2022, baby!”

Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs) used the goodwill he gained in his first professional loss last June when he was stopped late by Gervonta “Tank” Davis at 140 pounds to make his weight debut welter against a 33-year-old Thurman, who entered with questions given his age and layoff. Still, it was the Clearwater, Florida native who pulled off a performance pretty close to the lead version of himself.

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Thurman was faster and established himself as the bigger puncher, but it was the distinct difference in experience and boxing IQ that allowed him to set traps and do whatever he wanted.

That doesn’t mean Thurman, who last fought in a 2019 split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao when he suffered his first professional loss, enjoyed a safe walk in the park. Although Thurman was visibly injured by a bullet to the body in Round 8 and even spat out his own mouthpiece to breathe easier, he avoided the kind of implosion he had previously teased in a narrow victory against Josesito Lopez three years ago.

“I really grade this one a C+ or B- for myself,” Thurman said. “I knew I was sharp from the fight. [Barrios] was very calm [but] I saw movement and errors. I knew I could hurt that boy like I did with my sparring partners and I did that all night.

“We boxed smart and we rocked it but we couldn’t put it out. I rocked it a couple of times and I just have to get back to the gym and push that high intensity. That’s what was missing tonight . I’m ready to do it later this year.”

Thurman regularly wobbled Barrios but couldn’t take him down. Barrios, 26, suffered a nosebleed following a left hook from Thurman in round 4. Four rounds later, Barrios was cut along the right eye.

“It was kind of the fight I expected,” Barrios said. “He was the one who had to come here and meet the expectations. I think you all saw, again, that I can appear with the great fighters. Me and my team, we are happy with the result.

“We knew he would be on his bike a lot, especially if I started hurting him. I think I’ve done it a few times. Overall I felt stronger. There was nothing there -in it that really hurt me where I couldn’t continue. I didn’t get the win but I was happy with the result to give the fans a great fight.”

Thurman edged Barrios by a 181-to-105 margin, according to CompuBox. He also connected on almost 48% of his power shots.

CBS Sports was with you the whole way Saturday, so be sure to tune in to live results and highlights below. Thanks for dropping by.

Fight card, results

  • Keith Thurman won. Mario Barrios via unanimous decision (117-111, 118-110, 118-110)
  • Leo Santa Cruz defeats. Keenan Carbajal by unanimous decision (100-90, 100-90, 100-90)
  • Jesus Ramos defeats. Vladimir Hernandez via sixth-round knockout
  • Luis Nery vs. Carlos Castro by split decision (94-95, 95-94, 96-93)
  • Luke Santamaria beats. Abel Ramos by unanimous decision (96-94, 96-94, 98-92)

Thurman vs. Barrios scoreboard, live coverage

Thurman 9 ten ten ten ten ten ten ten ten 9 ten ten 118
Neighborhoods ten 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 ten 9 9 110