Jr. Welterweight contender Mario Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) is on the cusp of breaking through in boxing.
Barrios, a San Antonio native, has been essentially paying his dues trying to build a solid resume throughout the ranking. In doing so, he’s fought all across the country and maintaining a perfect professional record.
Trained by world-renowned trainer Virgil Hunter, Barrios and his team feel that the fight they’ve been working for all this time is finally within grasp.
Barrios was last seen fighting in his hometown of San Antonio in March on the undercard of Mickey Garcia’s win over Sergey Lipinents. Barrios shined on the Showtime Extreme telecast, cruising to an impressive second-round TKO over Eudy Bernardo (23-3, 17 KOs).
With the Bernardo win, Barrios has racked up five consecutive knockouts and the momentum has only motivated the fighter to seek out the top fighters in his division.
“There’s no name in particular, but I know I’m ready to fight the best in my division,” said Barrios. “My mission is to fight the best. That’s exactly what i want, is to face the best opposition.”
Barrios will have no trouble finding steep competition in a division that’s filled with talent. Some of the names that stand out in the division are, Regis Prograis, Kiryl Relikh, and Jose Ramirez. None of which, are walks in the park for Barrios.
Not only does Barrios feel he’s ready for the step up in class of fighters but he wants to remain active throughout the process, rather than wait and see if the fight manifest.
For the past two years, Barrios has taken his talents to the bay area, where trainer Virgil Hunter has fine-tuned his skills and helped provide an environment that challenges Barrios in and out of the ring.
“I’ve been with Virgil now two years and it’s been great, ” said Barrios. “Not only is he a great coach, he’s a great mentor. He really looks out for me in and out of the ring.”
Barrios also prepares himself by sparring with some of the best up and coming and established fighters in and around his division. Fighters such as, Mike Dallas Jr., Levan Ghvamichava and Amir Khan have all shared rounds with Barrios and he feels it’s helped him prepare for the next phase of his career.
With a fight hopefully looming around early August, Barrios may soon enough get the wish he’s been wanting and find himself at the minimum, in a title eliminator before the end of the year.
Header photo by Stephanie Trapp
Peter Nieves is a sports journalist who's been writing for Round By Round Boxing since 2012. When he's not covering the sweet science, he's busy twirling his mustache and writing a screenplays. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @pnieves90