Former unified welterweight champ Keith Thurman is finally returning to the ring on February 5, when he takes on Mario Barrios in a 12-round welterweight clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in the main event of the FOX Sports Premier Boxing Champions PPV.
Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has been out of action since his July 2019 decision loss to Manny Pacquiao, the first of his career, while Barrios will be fighting at 147 pounds for the first time.
“It’s been a long time coming for my return to the ring, and I can’t wait to compete again,” said Thurman. “In 2022, I will remind the world of boxing that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is a fighter not to forget. I look not to the past nor to the future, I’m back now, and I’m ready to fight. I dream big, and now is the time to make that dream a reality. Get ready, because I’m putting in the work to put on a show against Mario Barrios on February 5 on pay-per-view. It’s begun and my time is now.”
Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs), 26, is also coming off a loss – an 11th-round TKO defeat at the hands of Gervonta Davis on June 26, where he dropped his junior welterweight title.
“I’m excited to be making my welterweight debut against a great fighter and former world champion like Keith Thurman,” said Barrios. “A lot of fighters wouldn’t take this fight, but that’s why I wanted it. Both of us like to throw a lot of bombs and I believe this will be an all-out war. The fans know I’m a warrior and that I don’t back down from any challenge, that’s why everyone should order this fight. ‘El Azteca’ is going to make a statement on February 5.”
Leo Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs), who is also coming off a loss to Gervonta Davis on October 31, 2020 is also ready to end his year-long layoff against Keenan Carbajal (23-2-1, 15 KOs) in their 10-round junior lightweight bout – the co-featured of the evening.
“I’m excited to be back after a year out of the ring,” said Santa Cruz. “I’m looking forward to giving the fans a great fight on February 5 in Las Vegas and hopefully everyone will enjoy my fight and a great night of boxing.”
Also on the card, Josesito Lopez (38-8, 21 KOs) will also step into the ring against Abel Ramos (27-4-2, 21 KOs) in an 10-round welterweight fight, while Luis Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) takes on Carlos Castro (27-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round junior featherweight opening bout.
The pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now via axs.com.