Keith Thurman vs Mario Barrios Preview Feb. 5th, 2022
Former WBA Super World Welterweight Titleholder Keith Thurman of Clearwater, Florida takes on former WBA Super Lightweight champion Mario Barrios of San Antonio, Texas in a 12-round welterweight tilt this Saturday, February 5th. The fight from Las Vegas can be seen live in North America on Fox pay-per-view while fans in the UK can catch it on the FITE Network. Thurman hasn’t fought since since dropping a 12-round split decision to ring legend Manny Pacquiao in July, 2019 for his lone career loss. Barrios also lost for the first time as a pro in his last outing when he was stopped by Gervonta Davis in the 11th round in June.
Thurman vs Barrios Betting Odds
- Mario Barrios +140
- Keith Thurman -170
The 33-year-old Thurman will enter the ring with an impressive record of 29-1 with 22 Kos. He won his welterweight title via a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in March, 2015 and defended it against Luis Collazo with a seventh round stoppage, Shawn Porter by unanimous decision, Danny Garcia by split decision and Josesito Lopez by majority decision before losing to Pacquiao. He also took Garcia’s WBC world title when he beat him in 2017.
Thurman’s a skilled boxer/puncher who combines speed and power to produce a fan-friendly style. He’s got enough power to stop most opponents and the boxing skill to win decisions if he has to go the distance. He’s not known as a KO artist, but owns an impressive knockout ratio of 71 per cent. However, he’s gone the distance in his last four outings and hasn’t stopped anybody since halting Collazo in 2015.
Thurman possesses an effective jab which he often doubles or triples up on. He likes to back his foe up with the jab and then unleash power shots or quick combinations to the head and body. He’s also an effective counterpuncher and an intelligent boxer overall who can throw punches from a wide variety of angles. His hardest shot is the left hook and his mobility makes him one of boxing’s best at the moment.
He’s not the easiest guy to hit, and so far his chin has appeared to be pretty solid but Lopez did appear to have him hurt in 2019 and Pacquiao scored a flash knockdown against him in the first round the same year. Thurman has boxed 160 rounds since turning pro in 2007 following an excellent amateur career that saw him go 101-6 with half of those losses coming to Demetrius Andrade. He stands just over 5-feet-9-inches tall with a reach of 69 inches.
Thurman has also won a few regional and minor titles since turning pro including the WBO NABO Super Welterweight Championship as well as the WBO Inter-Continental Welterweight Title. He’s 5-1 in world title fights with 1 KO and is 7-1 against former or current world champions with 3 Kos. He’s also beaten Julio Diaz, Jesus Soto-Karass, Diego Chaves and Carlos Quintana.
The 26-year-old Barrios enters the ring with a fine mark of 26-1 with 17 Kos. He turned pro in 2013 following his amateur career and has 142rounds of experience under his belt. He won the vacant WBA Title Super Lightweight Crown in September, 2019 when he beat Batyr Akhmedov by unanimous decision after dropping him in the fourth and 12th rounds. He then stopped Ryan Karl in the sixth round his first title defence and lost his belt to Davis eight months ago in a competitive bout.
Barrios also captured the vacant WBA Inter-Continental Welterweight Title in July, 2018 by stopping Jose Roman after eight rounds. He stands 5-feet-10-inches tall with a 71-inch reach which gives him a half-inch height advantage on Thurman as well as a two-inch edge in reach. Barrios also carries good power in his hands with a current knockout ratio of 63 per cent.
Barrios hadn’t really taken on many legitimate top contenders until meeting Davis when he took a step up in class but he handled himself pretty well in that fight. He’s also beaten the likes of Yardley Cruz, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Richard Zamora and Juan Jose Velasco. Barrio possesses good speed and power and will need to use his jab at range to keep Thurman at bay if possible while trying to avoid a firefight.
Thurman’s inactivity definitely won’t help him as this is just his seventh fight since 2015 and the first since the middle of 2019. He’s a finely-tuned athlete though so should should get through the ring rust after the first few rounds. If Barrios can match Thurman in the speed and power departments then his chances of winning will increase greatly. He’s basically moving up in weight though as the heaviest he’s ever weighed in previously has been 143 lbs. This fight may be decided on determination and the willingness to throw punches and both guys usually have no problem letting their hands go. Whoever takes the initiative is likely to be successful even though Thurman’s best years may be behind him now. I’ll still give the edge to Thurman based on his skills and experience and he should have his hand raised unless the inactivity has robbed him of his skills and desire.
An interesting fight which Thurman should find a way to win.
Play: Thurman -170 @ BetOnline.ag
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