By: Hans Themistode
Mario Barrios admits that he had other plans following his win over Ryan Karl in October of 2020. The WBA 140 pound ‘Regular’ belt holder was taken aback however, once his name was mentioned as a possible opponent for multiple division champion, Gervonta Davis.
Most of his shock stems from the two competing in different weight classes. With the last fight for Davis taking place at 130 pounds against Leo Santa Cruz, the thought of the Baltimore native moving up ten pounds to face him never crossed his mind. Nevertheless, the two are scheduled to face off against one another on June 26th in Atlanta Georgia.
The respect Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) has for Davis makes it nearly impossible for the Texas native to trash talk him during the lead-up of their showdown. Barrios has witnessed firsthand up close and personal what Davis can do in the ring. With that said, he believes the multiple division titlist is biting off a bit more than he can chew.
“I was pretty taken away,” said Barrios during an interview with PBC Podcast. “It wasn’t a name I was expecting but it’s a tremendous opportunity for me. He’s a great fighter inside the ring. I respect what he’s trying to do as far as jumping up and fighting a champion but I believe they made a mistake with me.”
For the 25-year-old Barrios, he’s continued to put his head down, work diligently in the gym and perform when the lights shine the brightest. Still, despite his work ethic, Barrios hasn’t become a household name. In the case of Davis, however, he’s quickly become one of boxing’s young stars.
In back-to-back headlining shows, pre-COVID-19 pandemic, Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) sold out multiple arenas. In December of 2019, a jam-packed arena in Atlanta witnessed Davis struggle early on before ultimately stopping long-faded veteran Yuriokis Gamboa. Before that, Davis enjoyed another sold out show, this time in his hometown of Baltimore. Fans were left screaming at the top of their lungs as Davis scored a second-round stoppage against Ricardo Nunez.
Recently, several thousand socially distanced fans in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas attended his most recent win, a sixth-round stoppage over multiple division champion, Leo Santa Cruz. With Davis continuing to score knockouts in the ring and get into legal trouble outside of it, he has quickly turned into a polarizing figure.
Be that as it may, the star power that Davis possesses is something that Barrios craves for himself. Come June 26th, he plans on using his newfound platform to elevate himself on the biggest stage of his career.
“Whether fans like him or not, Gervonta has one of the biggest names in the sport and I’m just excited for the opportunity. This is the type of fight where I get to rise to the occasion and I get to show everybody how great I am.”
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