If there is one lesson that Keith Thurman has taken away from his loss to Manny Pacquiao, it is that it doesn’t hurt to throw more punches. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

The Clearwater, Florida native dropped a close split decision to Pacquaio in their welterweight title bout in July of 2019. Given the razor-thin margin separating the winner from the loser, Thurman, who is known for his power and no his volume punching, believes had he been a bit more active in each round he would have left the ring that night with his hands raised, regardless of the fact that he suffered a knockdown in the opening round.  

Thurman says he has learned from that mistake and expects to display his improved work rate against Mario Barrios in their welterweight contest on Feb. 5 at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on FOX Pay-Per-View. As BoxingScene.com reported, the bout has been categorized as a WBC eliminator, albeit not a final one. The fight will be Thurman’s first in more than two-and-a-half months.

“Take any round that I lost [in the Pacquiao fight], if I would have just thrown 15 more punches, I would have been able to solidify my victory regardless of the knockdown in the first round,” Thurman said on Time Out With Ray Flores. “So what is Thurman’s takeaway? Thurman needs to throw more punches. Don’t leave it up to the judges. If you do leave it up to the judges, you gotta at least put in the effort so that the judges see that your hands are moving.”

Thurman noted that despite his conservative (relatively speaking) work rate in the Pacquiao fight, he knew that his punches had a damaging effect on the Filipino Senator. Thurman has noted that he was fighting with a hand injury, which may have also curtailed his output.

“We know that Pacquiao took some blows,” Thurman said. “He left the post-fight conference before I left the conference. The man had to go lay down. The damage was dealt. OK? But the victory was in his favor, not in my favor. So I look at the numbers, I look at the punch count. I threw a good amount of punches but obviously I could’ve done more.”

Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) is confident that he will not make the same mistake against Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs), a career 140-pounder who is making his debut at the welterweight limit. Like Thurman, Barrios is also coming off a loss, suffering a stoppage to Gervonta Davis last June.

“So in this training camp right now we’re doing that, we’re making sure we’re doing more, we’re increasing our strength and conditioning,” Thurman said. “2019 was not ideal. I told everybody you’re not going to see the best Keith Thurman. I didn’t explain why. I knew I was an injured fighter.

“People can say what they want. Thurman ‘sometimes,’ ‘one time’, ‘no time’, say what you want. I saw your comments. Say what you want. But Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman will always be one of the best welterweights in the welterweight division today.”