Thurman vs Barrios boxing predictions: Comeback fight could go the distance

Keith Thurman (left) vs Manny Pacquiao boxing
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Henry Hardwicke

Boxing · 4 months ago

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Joined the Racing Post in 2006 having always been enthralled by sports and betting. Primarily focused on soccer, boxing and darts.

Former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman and ex-super lightweight champion Mario Barrios get it on in a battle of world champions at the Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday night (approx. midnight, Fox Sports PPV).

Thurman is a strong favorite, at -215 odds with FanDuel Sportsbook and -195 with DraftKings, despite a long absence from the ring. Barrios is +162 for an upset win with FanDuel and +160 on DraftKings.

Let’s take a look at how the fighters shape up.

Thurman vs Barrios analysis

There are two major questions for bettors to consider in this bout. Thurman (29-1) hasn’t been in the ring for nearly 3 years and you have to wonder how much he has left to offer. 

The Florida-based fighter was last seen losing to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019. Of course, there is no shame in losing to the Pacman but it was an aged version of the Filipino legend that he took on. Prior to that defeat Thurman had returned from a near 2-year break when he struggled to beat Josesito Lopez. That did at least give him some experience of coming back from a long absence which he can put to use this time.

Those are the only bouts One Time has contested since he beat Danny Garcia in 2017, and clearly that has to be a major concern about a fighter that has such short win odds. However, before bettors rush to back underdog Barrios (26-1), it’s worth remembering that this is El Azteca’s first fight at welterweight. 

The Texan is also on the comeback trail after suffering the first defeat of his career at the hands of Gervonta Davis last year. Barrios is the younger and fresher fighter, but there is the worry about him stepping up to the 147-pound division.

Best bet: Fight to go the distance – Yes (-120)

There are plenty of uncertainties in this fight. However, we do know that Thurman hasn’t stopped an opponent since 2013 and Barrios wasn’t even a notable puncher in the super-lightweight division. It’s tricky to call the winner of this bout but it does look likely to go the distance. The fight to be settled by the judges is just -155 with DraftKings, but a much more appealing -120 at FanDuel and that looks worth taking.

All quoted odds available at time of publishing.

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