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Back in the ring for the first time in over two years, former WBA and WBC welterweight world champion Keith Thurman outworked Mario Barrios over 12 rounds at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Saturday night.

Scores were 117-111 and 118-110 twice.

The fight started fast. Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) fired a right-left combination jabbed; Barrios went to the body. Thurman scored with an uppercut and left.

Thurman went to work in round two. Barrios countered – Thurman felt it and punched back.

Barrios threw body shots in round three. Thurman jabbed and leaped in with a left hook. Seconds later, another hook found Barrios.

Barrios connected with a right and uppercut. Thurman scored with another left at the bell.

Thurman, 33, opened round four with a combination. A follow-up hook wobbled Barrios. The former WBA junior welterweight champ railed back, only to be staggered again at the bell. Thurman went right back to work in round five. Barrios found Thurman with a left uppercut. Thurman unleashed hard shots to the head.

Barrios,26, forced Thurman into the ropes in round six. Thurman bounced on his toes and countered. Barrios fired back – Thurman cracked Barrios in the face with a stiff jab. Barrios tried to time the quicker Thurman without much success.

Thurman connected with a strafing hook to the jaw. Barrios scored with a long right hand. Barrios was bleeding from a cut over his left eye. He found the will to nail Thurman with a shot to the ribs. Thurman measured Barrios in round nine. Barrios countered with his right.

Barrios let fly with a hook. Both fighters connected with clubbing rights. Thurman, way ahead on the scorecards, boxed effectively in round 11. A one-two landed. Barrios pressed Thurman but was unable to land.
Way behind on the scorecards, Barrios would need a knockout to win. He fired hard right hands. Thurman ducked, moved, and punched – landing shots to the body and head. Thurman wobbled Barrios at the bell.

“He was a great opponent, “said Thurman.”I was happy to be in the ring.”

Leo Santa Cruz is back. The current WBA featherweight champion pitched a 10-round shutout over Keenan Carbajal.

All three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Santa Cruz.

In the opening stanza, current WBA featherweight champion Santa Cruz, the shorter fighter by three or so inches, jabbed. The rangy Carbajal, moving up in class, tried to keep up. Santa Cruz dug to the body and head.

Santa Cruz (37-2, 1-19 KOs) clubbed Carbajal with serious body shots. The rangy Carabajal (23-3-1, 15 KOs) tried to keep up. As the fight progressed, Santa Cruz,33, continued to dig to the body and head. Carbajal jabbed. An accidental head butt stopped the action twice during the fight. Santa Cruz, working in close quarters, landed a combination in round six.

The determined Carabajal clipped Santa Cruz with a headshot. Santa Cruz fired uppercuts. Santa Cruz pressed forward in rounds seven, eight, and nine. His work was steady. Carbajal absorbed the blows – though a right wobbled him. Santa Cruz dominated the last round with work rate and energy.

Source: John J. Raspanti

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