By Dan Ambrose: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is fighting tonight in the main event against Mario Barrios on FOX Sports pay-per-view in Las Vegas.
This is the long-awaited comeback for former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman after a little over two years out of the ring, and there’s a lot of interest from boxing fans to see if he’s still got it.
Boxing News 24 will be giving live updates & results of the action below on tonight’s Thurman vs. Barrios card at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas:
- Light welterweight Omar Juarez (13-1, 5 KOs) defeated the PBC house fighter Ryan Karl (19-4, 12 KOs) by a 10 round split decision. Karl was forced to fight with a badly cut-up face from a clash of heads. The scores were 95-94, 96-93 for Juarez, and 95-94 for Karl.
- Undefeated light welterweight Eniko Gogokhia (13-0-1, 8 KOs) and Ken Cruz (16-0-1, 10 KOs) fought to an eight round split draw. The scores were 76-74 for Gogokhia, 76-74 for Cruz, and 75-75. In the fifth, Cruz was knocked down twice.
- In middleweight action, unbeaten prospect Fernando Vargas Jr. (5-0, 5 KOs) scored his fifth knockout with s stoppage of Kody Koboski (2-1, 2 KOs) in the third round. Koboski was down in the first round.
What we learned in the last two weeks is Thurman is just as good as ever at bragging and padding himself on the back for his accomplishment many years ago, but don’t know if he’s going to be the same fighter he was during his heyday.
In looking at Thurman’s appearance, he looks like he’s aged terribly in the time he’s been out of the ring, but that may not matter.
As long as Thurman still possesses his punching power, hand speed, reflexes, and stamina, he should win tonight against former WBA secondary light welterweight champion Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs).
“I don’t think it matters for him. Keith can box,” said Shawn Porter said on the Porter Way Podcast. “Keith has natural power, the kind of power where you don’t need to get under a bench press, and you don’t really got to go down and do push-ups.
“Over the course of time, I think it could,” said Porter when asked if Thurman’s power could have disappeared due to his time out of the ring.
“But the fact remains the same, he [Thurman] had the kind of power where even on his backfoot going backward, he could stop, throw it and land it and clean you up. The dude had power.
“Then, of course, if he sees you in retreat mode, he’s going for it. Keith is a finisher. I do, I believe this kid Mario Barrios is too young, and I think his hunger is going to get him in trouble.
“I think you have to be smart enough to know when to take steps forwards and steps back. Keith, he spelled it out for us on the show. In some ways, he outsmarted me.
“It’s not to say that’s a hard thing to do, but at a point where we were both relatively young and for him to have the foresight and the thinking to do what he did against me.
“Understanding that ‘if I do it like this, it’ll play out the way I want it to.’ The judges helped him and it worked out, Keith. What I’m saying is that I think he’s too smart and too much,” said Porter in his belief that Thurman will be too good for Barrios tonight.