Keith Thurman To Face Mario Barrios In Early 2022 Ring Return

“One Time” Finally Makes His Return

Keith Thurman and Mario Barrios in fighting stances
Keith Thurman (left), Mario Barrios

Keith Thurman Set to Finally Make His Comeback to the Ring

Former unified WBA/WBC world welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has spent much of 2021 talking about how he’s ready to return to the ring and is itching to get back to the top of the mountain at 147 pounds. Now it looks like he’s on the verge of finally making his return to the ring.

According to ESPN, the 33-year-old has agreed to terms to face former WBA ‘regular’ junior welterweight champion Mario Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) on January 29 at a location to be determined. The bout will air live on Fox Pay-Per-View.

Thurman was last in action on July 20, 2019. That night, he suffered the first defeat of his pro career to Manny Pacquiao and lost the WBA 147-pound strap in the process. Following a 33-month layoff, he returns to face a Barrios trying, himself, to bounce back from defeat. In June of 2021, he lost the WBA 140-pound strap, after getting stopped in eleven rounds, to Gervonta “Tank” Davis.

RELATED: Gervonta Davis Proves to be Too Much For Mario Barrios


Before his recent layoff, Keith Thurman was viewed as one of the elite fighters at welterweight. That sentiment remains for many fans and pundits. However, what does it say that his return now is coming against someone who is not only a naturally smaller man, but who was TKO’d in his last fight? Furthermore, is this even worthy of Pay-Per-View status?

Some critics will argue Thurman’s return to the ring should be against a more prominent opponent. But in the end, the return of “One Time” is a welcomed sight. He is good for the division and good for the sport.

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By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.2010 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for