Keith Thurman vs. Mario Barrios fight results, highlights: 'One Time' returns from layoff to score solid win

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Premier Boxing Champions

Idle for a career-long 30 months due to injuries and happenstance, former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman successfully returned his name among boxing's elite at 147 pounds on Saturday.

Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) boxed intelligently and landed the harder shots throughout to cut and outpoint Mario Barrios inside Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. The three judges in the Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view main event were unanimous in favor of Thurman by scores of 117-111 and 118-110 (twice). CBS Sports also had it 118-110 for Thurman.

"It felt good. I still felt a little ring rust in there but it was amazing," Thurman said. "I had a great opponent and he learned from his last outing and [so did I]. I'm just so grateful to everybody that got me to this position and I'm looking forward to a big year. 2022, baby!"

Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs) used the goodwill he earned in his first pro loss last June when he was stopped late by Gervonta "Tank" Davis at 140 pounds to make his welterweight debut against a 33-year-old Thurman, who entered with questions given his age and layoff. Yet it was the native of Clearwater, Florida, who turned in a performance close enough to the prime version of himself.

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Thurman was faster and established himself as the bigger puncher, but it was the clear difference in experience and boxing IQ that allowed him to set traps and have his way.

That doesn't mean Thurman, who last fought in a 2019 split-decision loss to Manny Pacquiao when he suffered his first pro defeat, enjoyed a walk in the park that was free of danger. Although Thurman was visibly hurt by a body shot in Round 8 and even spit out his own mouthpiece in order to breathe easier, he avoided the kind of implosion he formerly teased in a close win over Josesito Lopez three years ago.

"I really grade this one a C+ or B- for myself," Thurman said. "I knew that I was sharp from the sparring. [Barrios] was very poised [but] I saw some movement and some mistakes. I knew that I could hurt this boy like I did my sparring partners and I did that all night.

"We boxed smart and we rocked him but we weren't able to put him out. I rocked him a few times and I just have to get back in the gym and push that high intensity. That's what was missing tonight. I'm prepared to do that later this year."

Thurman routinely wobbled Barrios but was unable to floor him. Barrios, 26, bled from the nose following a left hook from Thurman in Round 4. Four rounds later, Barrios was cut along the right eye.

"It was kind of the fight I was expecting," Barrios said. "He was the one who had to come here and hold up to expectations. I think you all saw, once again, that I can appear with the great fighters. Me and my team, we are happy with the outcome.

"We knew he would be on his bike a lot, especially if I started to hurt him. I believe that I did several times. Overall, I felt stronger. There was nothing in there that really had hurt me to where I couldn't continue. I didn't get the win but I was happy with the outcome to give the fans a great fight."

Thurman outlanded Barrios by a margin of 181 to 105, according to CompuBox. He also connected on nearly 48% of his power shots.

CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday, so be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below. Thanks for stopping by.

Fight card, results

  • Keith Thurman def. Mario Barrios via unanimous decision (117-111, 118-110, 118-110)
  • Leo Santa Cruz def. Keenan Carbajal via unanimous decision (100-90, 100-90, 100-90)
  • Jesus Ramos def. Vladimir Hernandez via sixth-round knockout
  • Luis Nery vs. Carlos Castro via split decision (94-95, 95-94, 96-93)
  • Luke Santamaria def. Abel Ramos via unanimous decision (96-94, 96-94, 98-92)

Thurman vs. Barrios scorecard, live coverage

Round123456789101112Total
Thurman 9 10 10 10 10 10 1010 1091010118
Barrios 109 99 99 999109 9 110
Live updates
(147)
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R12: Lead left hand hits for Thurman. Strong finish for the former champ. 10-9 Thurman (Overall: 118-110 Thurman)

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Scorecards: 117-111, 118-110, 118-110 for Keith Thurman. It's a unanimous decision for the former unified champion. 

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R12: The break allowed by Thurman seems to have given Barrios' his legs back. He has 30 seconds to go for it. 

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R12: Barrios trying to prevent disaster. He works the jab and Thurman seems content to stay out of trouble. 

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R12: Thurman counters nice with the left hand and Barrios looks weary. 

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R12: Thurman lands a pair of shots to the body. Barrios lands a right cross and the crowd likes it.

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ROUND 12: Barrios has stepped up the pace with his jab as Thurman circles away. Good shovel body shot from Thurman with the left hand. 

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R11: Thurman was busier late. He goes down but referee Kenny Bayless rightfully calls it a slip. 10-9 Thurman (Overall: 108-101 Thurman) 

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R11: Thurman is focused on moving away from Barrios' combination attempts and he is succeeding. 

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R11: The round comes to a slow halt as neither boxer is going for much. Thurman sneaks in a clean combination. 

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ROUND 11: It's time for Barrios to try and force an opening. He lands a right hand to the body. 

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R10: Thurman clearly protecting his body late to avoid taking a big shot. Barrios outworked him there, 10-9 (Overall: 98-92)

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R10: Big right hands from Thurman. Back comes Barrios with a left hook to force Thurman to take a step back. 

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R10: Thurman sneaks in a beautiful left hook after leading with the right cross. Barrios tries to work the jab but Thurman's head movement is strong.

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ROUND 10: Barrios ducks to land a counter right hand downstairs. Another counter from Barrios catches Thurman leaning in.

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R9: Very even round. Edge it to Thurman for landing the bigger shots, 10-9 (Overall: 89-82 Thurman)

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R9: Good counter left from Barrios to keep Thurman at bay. 

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ROUND 9: Thurman re-establishes control nicely with a three-punch combination. He's mixing in body shots nicely as Barrios protects his bloodied right eye with his gloves. 

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It was a body shot from Barrios late in R8 that hurt Thurman and forced him to spit his mouthpiece in reaction. Let's see if Barrios can build upon that one big punch.  

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R8: Barrios might have caught Thurman with a left hook there as the former champion's mouthpiece went flying. Big round for Thurman, nonetheless, as Barrios' face is covered in blood. 10-9 Thurman (Overall: 79-73 Thurman)

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R8: Barrios is a bloody mess. Hard right hand from Thurman. And another. 

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R8: Barrios gets hurt off a right hand and is wobbled. 

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R8: Barrios is now bleeding from the left eye as Thurman looks like he's got some more gas this round, maybe trying to set up a finishing blow.

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R8: Another three-punch combo hits with clean shots for Thurman. Barrios just can't find an opening for more than one punch. 

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ROUND 8: Left hook and straight right combo hits for Thurman. Great stuff. 

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