Gruesome boxing injuries: Mario Barrios' battered nose after Keith Thurman fight

In the words of the great Frank Bruno: “Boxing is the toughest and loneliest sport in the world,” and this is often realised when tuning into a fight.

On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Keith Thurman returned to the ring for the first time since 2019 after tasting defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao.

Thurman faced Mario “El Azteca” Barrios in a bout that went the entire 12 rounds, although this looked unlikely after the start Thurman had made.

The former unified welterweight champion took his professional record to 30-1 after beating his American counterpart thanks to the judges’ scorecards.

After the battle, Barrios, who was making his welterweight debut, looked almost unrecognisable, with social media picking up the fact the 26-year-old seemed to look like a character from the movie Avatar.

One fan tweeted: “Mario Barrios out there looking like Avatar.”

Away from the trolling, the former world champion was given the respect he deserved after the fight, with another fan expressing: “Thurman did some grafting work there! Barrios is a warrior to take all that punishment. Respect.”

Although his opponent did look in control for most of their time in the ring, Barrios enjoyed his moments, particularly in the eighth round where a left hook to the body caused Thurman to back up.

Post-fight, Thurman said: “This was a comeback fight after two and a half years away. I wish I had my best performance, but I did the best I could under the circumstances. I grade this performance a C+ or a B- for myself.”

“One Time” Thurman, a harsh critic of himself, continued: “We rocked him. We weren’t able to put him down and out, but we had a great performance and a great fight. I want the belts. I want the champions. I want to be back on top, so whoever is willing to send Keith Thurman the contract, let’s go!”

He certainly is ready for his next opponent and a pleasure to the 147-pound division.

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