San Antonio, Texas native Mario Barrios (25-0 16 KOs) gutted out a tough unanimous-decision victory over Batyr Akhmedov (7-1, 6 KOs) to win the WBA world super lightweight title Saturday night at Staples Center.
Barrios remained undefeated with official scores of 116-111, 115-111 and 114-112. The new 140-pound champ dropped Akhmedov to one knee with a hard left hook in the fourth round and dropped him again in the final round.
“I promised my city of San Antonio that I would bring this title back home and I did it,” said Barrios. “I knew this was going to be a war.”
Akhmedov was seemed ahead in points after wearing down Barrios in the middle rounds but the knockdown in the 12th round was the difference in the fight, giving Barrios the win.
Barrios got off to a solid start, dominating Akhmedov through the first four rounds, but he started to wear down Barrios and pick him apart. Akhmedov applied constant pressure and landed 45 of 198 punches in the fifth and sixth rounds, according to CompuBox.
Blood started to trickle from a cut over Barrios left eye in the seventh round. Akhmedov smelled blood in the water and started attacking Barrios with flurries upstairs and to the body.
In rounds six through nine, Akhmedov had the edge in punches landed, 84-46. He continued to dominate in the 10th and 11th rounds before the big knockdown in the 12th.
“He was getting dirty in there but the Mexican warrior in me was not going to let this opportunity pass me by,” said Barrios. I dug deep and got the victory.”