By Max Schramm: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he’s coming back to regain his spot as the #1 fighter at 147, and get-back opponent Mario Barrios is a mere step in the ladder going back up. Alas, there’s a genuine possibility that Thurman will lose.
If Thurman does lose, will he retire or continue? He can always blame the loss on his inactivity, and no one would fault him.
When you’ve been out of the sport for as long as Thurman has, you should be starting at a lower level rather than jumping in with a former world champion in your first fight back.
Thurman is setting himself up for failure by facing a young ex-world champion, who was dethroned in his last fight by Gervonta Davis.
Barrios gave Tank enough problems to where his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. had to give him a pep talk after the seventh round. It’s not easy to put Tank in that position.
Thurman is coming off a long layoff
There’s a right way and a wrong way to deal with failure. What we saw from Thurman, he disappeared and hid for the last three years after getting beat by the Filipino star. That was the WRONG way for Thurman to deal with his loss.
Thurman should have looked in the mirror and been open with himself for what went wrong in that fight. I don’t think Thurman did that.
He might as well have been hiding on a mountain top after his loss because he was out of sight from fans, which hurt his career and kept him from learning from his defeat.
It would be difficult for any fighter to come back from a three-year layoff, but what makes it especially difficult for Thurman is that he’s coming off a loss against 40-year-old Pacquiao. He looked poor in his fight before that against Josesito Lopez in January 2019.
Even under ideal circumstances, it would be asking a lot of Thurman to defeat Barrios and look like his old self. But when you look at how Thurman struggled against his last two opponents in Josesito and Pacquiao, it doesn’t look promising.
The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman is fighting 26-year-old Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) on February 5th when they square off on FOX PPV at the Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas.
Keith says he’s coming for “Greatness”
“Once I’m comfortable in this return, I’m coming for greatness,” said Thurman. “We know we’ve fallen from the ladder, and we’re looking up. That’s okay because we’re going to take it one step at a time to get back to where we were, in the top spot of the welterweight division.
— Keith Thurman Jr. (@keithfthurmanjr) December 30, 2021
It seems like Thurman is in a big hurry to start fighting the best as soon as possible, and that’s why many people feel he’s coming back for the wrong reasons.
They think Thurman sees dollar signs and wants to get while the settings are good and then bow out again.
If Thurman is coming for greatness against a guy knocked out in his last fight, he’s setting the bar low. Thurman won’t be achieving excellence unless he can beat Errol Spence Jr, Terence Crawford, and possibly Jaron Ennis if he’s not already weeded out by then.
“I’m here to prove that I’m not the kind of fighter that you can write off. The cream is going to rise to the top. I might have fallen, but you best believe I’m going to rise again.