By: Hans Themistode
Despite spending the majority of his career at the 140 pound super lightweight limit, Mario Barrios is supremely confident in his ability to adapt to his newfound welterweight home.
Though he was already suffering from weight issues, Barrios pondered a move seven pounds north several times in 2021. Ultimately, the 26-year-old opted against heading to the welterweight division just yet and instead, attempted to turn back the explosive, yet smaller , Gervonta Davis. The two clashed on June 26th, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia in front of a sold-out crowd with Barrios placing his WBA “Regular” 140 pound title on the line.
Although the San Antonio, Texas, native proved that he was tough, in the end, he was outgunned and overmatched, hitting the deck several times over before suffering the first defeat of his career via 11th round stoppage.
While Barrios could have chosen to slowly get his career back on track, he decided to instead throw himself into the deep end. Following his brutal defeat at the hands of Davis, Barrios admitted that squeezing down his 5’10 ”frame to the 140 pound super lightweight limit was no longer realistic.
So, with the 26-year-old fully prepared to move up in weight, he was not interested in quietly waltzing onto the welterweight scene. The newly turned 147 pounder will instead attempt to make a massive name for himself by taking on former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman, later on tonight at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The now 33-year-old has spent most of the latter part of his career sequestered on the sidelines due to injuries. In his most recent ring appearance, which took place in July of 2019, Thurman, much like Barrios, also suffered the first defeat of his career. His, however, would come at the hands of future first ballot Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao.
At one point, Thurman was considered by most as the division’s number one fighter. Still, despite those previous thoughts, Barrios has exuded an enormous amount of confidence. In Thurman’s opinion, nevertheless, he believes that the hubris Barrios has shown is just for show. Deep down inside, the former unified titlist maintains that Barrios is fully aware of what will take place later on tonight.
“He already knows wassup,” said Thurman. “Keep your hands up, protect yourself at all times cause he’s about to get knocked the F out.”