By: Sean Crose
“This isn’t an easy fight,” the 26-0 Mario Barrios says to ESNEWS during his training camp for his June 26th Showtime Pay Per View bout against the 24-0 Gervonta “Tank” Davis. “We’re both explosive.” The fight, which will go down at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, will be for Barrios’ WBA super lightweight strap. Although Davis is shorter than Barrios, and will also be going up in weight for the fight, Barrios doesn’t come across in the interview as the kind of fighter who is susceptible to underestimating an opponent. “We’re expecting to face the best version of Tank that anybody has seen,” he says.
“I train for every fight as if it’s a world title fight,” Barrios claims. “I live a very active lifestyle…you always have to be in shape. You always have to be ready.” To say the 26 year old Texan impressed his last time out in the ring might be something of an understatement. Fighting Ryan Karl on the undercard of Davis’ destruction of Leo Santa Cruz, Barrio dropped Karl with a thunderous shot in the sixth of a scheduled 12 round affair. Barrios won his title by besting Batyr Akhmedov just over a year earlier, in September of 2019, via a Unanimous Decision.
Although the 26 year old Davis is without doubt the A-side walking into the fight, the hard hitting Barrios is extremely confident. “A lot of people are overlooking me for this fight but that’s none of my concern,” he says. “I’d rather show everybody than tell everybody.” Although he’s obviously familiar with Davis’ style – he’s known his opponent for years – Barrios indicates he’s not apt to delve into the psychology of competition. “I don’t look too much into all that,” he says after being asked his opinion of last week’s faceoff with Davis at a press event. “It’s part of the business, but I don’t look too into the faceoffs or anything.”
One thing Barrios appears to take quite seriously is preparation. “It’s been a great camp,” he says, adding that he’s been training since last winter. “I thought I was going to be back in the ring in April,” he adds. Barrios is also well aware of what’s going on within his own division. “I give Taylor his credit,” he says of Josh Taylor’s win over Jose Ramirez last weekend. Barrios admits he was leaning towards Ramirez to win the fight, but certainly wasn’t shocked when Taylor pulled off the win. “I wasn’t too surprised by the outcome,” he says.
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