by Dan Ambrose: Keith “One Time” Thurman revealed on Tuesday that his fight against Mario Barrios on February 5 would be the elimination of the WBC welterweight title for a mandatory identification of champion Errol’ Spence Jr. This could be Thurman’s best year as a professional if all goes well. And he was beaten with him by Barrios and Spence.
This is bad news for 147-pound WBO champ Terrence ‘Bud’ Crawford because instead of Thurman facing him afterwards, as he would have done previously, he will fight for the WBC title against whoever holds the bar while fighting for it.
Needless to say, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) is thrilled to fight in the WBC elimination because if he defeats Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs), he will have the opportunity to fight for three world titles against Spence against the winner Yordenis Ogas In the battle of April.
Spence holds the IBF & WBC 147-pound belts, while Ugas is the WBA champion. So, the winner of that fight will get three titles, and that puts Thurman is in a position to grab three belts later this year.
Thurman and Barrios will headline FOX Sports’ pay-per-view program on February 5th at Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas.
This is the first fight for the 33-year-old Thurman since losing the 147-pound WBA title to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019.
Thurman says Barrios is fighting = WBC title eliminator
“I have to say he’s not on the list,” Keith Thurman told FOX Sports when asked if Terrence Crawford was next. “I love to fight. I love to fight these undefeated welterweight champions.
“I want the belts, but the WBC approached me for a weight check,” Thurman said. I said, ‘Why would the WBC approach me for a weight check? I do not hold a WBC address.
“Mario Barrios does not hold the WBC title. They do not have the right to check my weight unless this February 5th fight was the title elimination tool, which I knew there was a strong possibility that it would appear in the books.
“So if it’s not fully publicized, that’s my way of publicizing it. I know what they do in boxing is for a reason, and I know the only reason why the WBC could ask for such a thing a week before a fight.” Where’s your weight champ? “
“That’s because this fight is going to be a 12th round title elimination for WBC,” Thurman said. “So whoever holds the WBC title later this year is most likely going to fight Keith Thurman.” [next]I look forward to this challenge, and I look forward to that opportunity.
“After that, we can deal with other champions. If something happens politically and I don’t have a chance to force the WBC champ to take on Keith Thurman, then with a contract and a fight proposal, I’d be more than open to fighting Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford,” he said once Thurman.
Thurman “One Time” hit the lottery with the WBC pick to make his fight with Barrios the 147-pound WBC title takedown. Thurman isn’t the only one who can benefit from this. Barrios can take advantage of it if he wins this battle.
Can you imagine how happy Barrios would be if he defeated Thurman and then fought the winner of the Spence vs Ogas match? We are talking about huge salaries for Barrios.
The money Barrios made last year against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis would be a small change compared to what he would get fighting the winner of the Spence-Ugas.
Keith hopes to fight Spence vs. Ogas the winner
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say it would be a dream come true,” Thurman said of the prospect of fighting for three titles against the winner of the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Jordenis Ogas match.
“I love everything I have accomplished in my career, but since I am a young amateur fighter, my highest honor is the undisputed world champion title.
“So I united the WBA and the WBC on the night I beat Danny Garcia. Being the unified welterweight champion was the highlight of my career today.
Until I have a chance to fight later this year for three belts, it will be the next level. It would be higher than the chance I had of a Pacquiao pay-per-view. It will just be. It would be a dream come true. This is what I’m about.
“I would really appreciate it and work hard to give the best performance of my career,” Thurman said.
For Thurman’s sake, he better hope he still has something in the tank because if he loses to Barrios, he can forget to fight the winner of the Spence-Ogas match.
The thing is, we don’t know if Thurman has anything left after being out of the ring for nearly three years. He looked terrible in his last two matches of 2019 against Josesito Lopez and Manny Pacquiao.
For those two fights, Thurman was coming off a two-year break. Thurman’s inactivity from 2017 to 2019 did something of his game.
Sadly, Thurman has done it again with more than two years out of the ring since losing to Pacquiao in 2019.
As I was saying, Thurman could lose to the 26-year-old Barrios due to the rust ring. Barrios is in full swing now, but you can’t say that about Thurman anymore.
Thurman predicted an explosive night on February 5
“It’s going to be explosive,” Thurman said of his fight against Barrios on February 5th. “You will see Keith Thurman really determined, refreshed, ready to fight and take on all comers and challengers to be a champion again.
“That’s the kind of performance I want to bring to the table, I want to steal the show. We’ve had big fights over that card, man. February 5th is going to be a great night for boxing in general.”
“We have some great comparisons from the welterweight division to the lighter weight divisions. We got Leo Santa Cruz and back to myself Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman.
“I love all my fans. Everyone is excited about this fight, looking forward to seeing Keith Thurman.” Everyone is excited about Mario Barrios. Respect everyone. I love the sport of boxing. I know there’s controversy, and I know you won’t like every fight.
“But I’m just looking forward to getting back in the ring and putting in a massive performance for you, myself and the sport of boxing in general.
“That’s what you can expect on February 5th. A great night of boxing,” Thurman said.
It will be exciting on February 5th to see Thurman fight Barrios with so much at stake. There’s a lot to lose Thurman in this fight now.