Keith Thurman gunning for world champs after first win in over three years

Keith Thurman

Ryan Hafey

Former unified welterweight world champion Keith Thurman is back in contention for huge fights at 147 after dominating Mario Barrios.

Thurman proved he is still an elite welterweight, winning a 12-round unanimous decision over the former super lightweight world champion.

‘One Time’ won the main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event Saturday night from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

“This was a comeback fight after two and a half years away,” said Clearwater, Florida’s Thurman. “I wish I had my best performance.

“But I did the best I could under the circumstances. “I grade this performance a C+ or B- for myself.”

In his first fight in over 30 months, the 33-year-old Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) displayed the attributes that led him to the top of the 147-pound division.

Thurman got off to a strong start and never relinquished control, at times punishing Barrios with hard shots.

Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs) had his moments in his welterweight debut, particularly in the eighth when a left hook to the body caused Thurman to back up.

The 26-year-old slugger from San Antonio, Texas, also showed grit, gamely fighting back despite Thurman’s heavy artillery.

“Tonight, I showed the Mexican warrior in me. I take my hat off to Keith Thurman. He’s a warrior as well. We gave the fans a great fight,” said Barrios.

KEITH THURMAN CHAMPS

Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to overcome a dominant performance from the relentless Thurman.

“We rocked him. We weren’t able to put him down and out, but we had a great performance and a great fight,” said Thurman.

“I want the belts. I want the champions. But I want to be back on top, so whoever is willing to send Keith Thurman the contract, let’s go!”

Errol Spence Jr., Yordenis Ugas, and Terence Crawford hold gold in the welterweight division.

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