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Keith Thurman vs Mario Barrios, Leo Santa Cruz return, more set for February 5 pay-per-view

PBC will have yet another PPV on Feb. 5 with Keith Thurman and Leo Santa Cruz both returning, plus more.

Keith Thurman will make his return on Feb. 5 in a FOX PPV main event
Keith Thurman will make his return on Feb. 5 in a FOX PPV main event
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In case you were worried that Keith Thurman’s reported Jan. 29 return would mean two Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-views in January, don’t worry! Thurman’s return will actually be a Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view on Feb. 5.

Thurman, who hasn’t fought since his 2019 loss to Manny Pacquiao, will indeed be facing former 140 lb secondary titlist Mario Barios in a PBC PPV main event from the increasingly noxious FOX Sports brand, which seems to have two modes of operation in boxing at this point, either a pay-per-view people are going to complain about being a pay-per-view, or a non-pay-per-view card nobody much cares about at all.

Thurman-Barrios isn’t really a bad fight, but certainly isn’t going to be any blockbuster, and will probably be priced at blockbuster prices, unlike the Jan. 1 PBC PPV priced at $40 because they’re OK enough quietly admitting it has no business being a PPV.

The Feb. 5 date also means that this show will go head-to-head against a good Top Rank main event on ESPN+ (Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza), and Matchroom’s plans to do Liam Smith vs Jessie Vargas and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Carlos Cuadras in Las Vegas on DAZN.

Along with Thurman (29-1, 22 KO) facing Barrios (26-1, 17 KO) in the 12-round welterweight main event of two guys coming off of losses, Leo Santa Cruz will make his return to featherweight to face Keenan Carbajal (23-2-1, 15 KO), a 30-year-old from Phoenix who, despite that semi-shiny record, is ranked No. 109 in the world by BoxRec because it’s a club fighter’s resume behind the wins and losses.

There are two other matchups set for the show, both of which are actually pretty good. Abel Ramos (27-4-2, 21 KO) will face Josesito Lopez (38-8, 21 KO) in a meeting of veteran welterweights who promise to deliver good action, and Luis Nery (31-1, 24 KO) will take on Carlos Castro (27-0, 12 KO) in a meaningful matchup at 122 lbs, with Nery looking to prove he truly belongs as a contender at that weight, and Castro kind of in a sink-or-swim position.