LAS VEGAS – What would a Keith Thurman fight be without an opponent landing a body shot that hurt him at some point? (photo by Ryan Hafey)

Thurman admitted after his 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over Mario Barrios on Saturday night that Barrios’ left hook to the body hurt him in the eighth round. The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion clarified that he has taken harder body shots during his career, but he suspects Barrios might’ve sent him to the canvas had his taller, strong opponent been able to get more on that shot.

Thurman also revealed that the area around his liver was sore in the locker room, before Barrios even 

touched him during their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.

“It was weird, man. I ain’t gonna lie,” Thurman said during a post-fight press conference. “Backstage, I was sitting down and I felt my body hurtin’ with the cup. It was weird. I was like, ‘You ain’t gonna wanna get touched there today, boy.’ You know? I know everybody talks about me and body shots – yada, yada, yada. But maybe it had something to do with the weight pool. Maybe there was something going on, maybe my liver is a little sensitive. You know, I always try not to look at it like that. I like to say, you know, somebody lands a good shot, they land a good shot. Body shots are just different, you know?

“You know, but it is interesting – if I breathe deeply, I can still kinda just still feel awkward in that body region. Like I said, I felt tenderness before I was even touched tonight. So, that one shot definitely awakened a little sensation of discomfort and pain. But it wasn’t the hardest that I’ve ever been hit. If he was able to step in a little bit more, dig a little bit deeper, he may have been able to put me down.”

Manny Pacquiao nearly dropped Thurman when he, too, landed a left hook to his body near the middle of the 10th round during a July 2019 bout Pacquiao won by split decision at nearby MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Thurman likened Pacquiao’s punch to the left Luis Collazo caught him with late in the fifth round of their July 2015 fight at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. Collazo’s body shot landed late in that round, though, whereas Pacquiao’s punch impacted Thurman about halfway through the 10th round.

Barrios’ body shot also connected relatively early in the eighth round. Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC), of Clearwater, Florida, recovered and went on to beat San Antonio’s Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs) by wide distances on all three scorecards – 118-110, 118-110 and 117-111.

“A lot of people who landed good body shots almost put me down,” Thurman said. "But look, they still haven’t put me down, bro. You know, at the end of the day, they can’t make it happen. So, Pacquiao didn’t do it, Mario didn’t do it and Luis Collazo didn’t do it. You know, Shawn Porter didn’t do it. Shawn’s wasn’t that good [in June 2016]. I backed up because it landed and then he rushed me, and it looked bad on TV. I know it looked bad on TV. The commentators jumped on I was hurt. I wasn’t really hurt. But the other three body shots that I’ve taken that you guys have seen on highlights, Keith Thurman was hurt.

“But that’s what it means to be a world-class fighter. You know, it’s like Phil Ivey – you have a poker face up in that ring. And sometimes you can read a fighter, you can tell that he’s hurt. But then that’s when the true warrior spirit comes out, and we endure and I make it through the round, I sharpen up. You know, let him take that round if the judges think that was enough to win. Otherwise, you know, we just get back into boxing and we get back to winning the fight.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.