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Mario Barrios News
Foster hands two-division world champ Rey Vargas his first loss in a dominant performance to capture the vacant WBC 130-pound World Title Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
The incredible story of the upbringing of the former super lightweight champion.
The former unified welterweight world champion returns in fine form, winning a unanimous decision over former super lightweight world champ Mario Barrios Saturday night in FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view main event.
Mario Barrios Fights
Win vs Jovanie Santiago 14-2-1
Feb 11, 2023 • Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Mario Barrios WINS against Jovanie Santiago by TKO in Round 8 of 10
LOSS vs Keith Thurman 30-1-0
Feb 05, 2022 • Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Keith Thurman WINS against Mario Barrios by UD in Round 12 of 12
LOSS vs Gervonta Davis 29-0-0
Jun 26, 2021 • State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Gervonta Davis WINS against Mario Barrios by TKO in Round 11 of 13
Win vs Ryan Karl 19-4-0
Oct 31, 2020 • Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Mario Barrios WINS against Ryan Karl by KO in Round 6 of 12
Win vs Batyr Akhmedov 9-3-0
Sep 28, 2019 • Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Mario Barrios WINS against Batyr Akhmedov by UD in Round 12 of 12
Win vs Juan Jose Velasco 20-1-0
May 11, 2019 • EagleBank Arena, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Juan Jose Velasco by KO in Round 2 of 10
Win vs Richard Zamora 19-2-0
Feb 09, 2019 • Dignity Health Sports Park , Carson, California, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Richard Zamora by KO in Round 4 of 10
Win vs Jose Roman 24-2-1
Jul 28, 2018 • Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Jose Roman by RTD in Round 8 of 10
Win vs Eudy Bernardo 23-2-0
Mar 10, 2018 • THE FREEMAN COLISEUM, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Mario Barrios WINS against Eudy Bernardo by TKO in Round 2 of 10
Win vs Naim Nelson 14-5-0
Sep 19, 2017 • Sands Bethlehem Events Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Mario Barrios WINS against Naim Nelson by TKO in Round 7 of 10
Win vs Jose Luis Rodriguez 21-9-0
Jun 11, 2017 • Pioneer Event Center, Lancaster, California, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Jose Luis Rodriguez by KO in Round 7 of 10
Win vs Yardley Armenta Cruz 21-7-0
Mar 04, 2017 • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Yardley Armenta Cruz by TKO in Round 6 of 8
Win vs Yardley Suarez 20-6-0
Mar 04, 2017 • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Yardley Suarez by TKO in Round 6 of 8
Win vs Claudio Rosendo Tapia 28-17-4
Dec 10, 2016 • USC Galen Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Claudio Rosendo Tapia by KO in Round 2 of 8
Win vs Devis Boschiero 49-6-2
Jul 09, 2016 • Sun National Bank Center, Trenton, New Jersey
Mario Barrios WINS against Devis Boschiero by UD in Round 12 of 12
Win vs Edgar Gabejan 27-32-6
Apr 16, 2016 • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Edgar Gabejan by UD in Round 8 of 8
Win vs Manuel Vides 18-4-0
Dec 12, 2015 • AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Manuel Vides by KO in Round 6 of 8
Win vs Enrique Tinoco 15-2-2
Nov 10, 2015 • Music Hall, Austin, Texas, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Enrique Tinoco by UD in Round 8 of 8
Win vs Eduardo Rivera 9-2-2
Sep 26, 2015 • Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Eduardo Rivera by KO in Round 1 of 8
Win vs Jose Cen Torres 13-8-0
Sep 06, 2015 • American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Jose Cen Torres by TKO in Round 4 of 8
Win vs Jose Arturo Esquivel 9-2-0
Jul 18, 2015 • Don Haskins Convention Center, El Paso, Texas, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Jose Arturo Esquivel by UD in Round 8 of 8
Win vs Jose Arturo Esquivel Porras 9-2-0
Jul 18, 2015 • Don Haskins Convention Center, El Paso, Texas, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Jose Arturo Esquivel Porras by UD in Round 8 of 8
Win vs Jose Del Valle - Rivera 4-10-3
May 09, 2015 • State Farm Arena, Hidalgo, Texas, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Jose Del Valle - Rivera by KO in Round 6 of 6
Win vs Justin Lopez 5-2-0
Mar 07, 2015 • MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Justin Lopez by TKO in Round 3 of 6
Win vs Juan Sandoval 7-14-1
Nov 20, 2014 • Sportsmans Lodge, Studio City, California, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Juan Sandoval by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Abraham Rubio 3-4-1
Oct 08, 2014 • Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Abraham Rubio by KO in Round 1 of 4
Win vs Salvador Perez 2-4-2
Jul 25, 2014 • Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Salvador Perez by KO in Round 1 of 4
Win vs Jaxel Marrero 1-2-1
May 10, 2014 • USC Galen Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Jaxel Marrero by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Lyonell Kelly 0-2-0
Mar 07, 2014 • Pala Casino Spa and Resort , Pala, California, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Lyonell Kelly by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Manuel Rubalcava 1-6-0
Feb 10, 2014 • Cowboys Dance Hall, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Manuel Rubalcava by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Rigoberto Moreno 0-1-0
Nov 11, 2013 • Cowboys Dance Hall, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Mario Barrios WINS against Rigoberto Moreno by TKO in Round 1 of 4
Mario Barrios Bio
Mario Barrios is one of the best young fighters in boxing today. Under the guidance of respected trainer Virgil Hill, Barrios became a world super lightweight champion. The sky is the limit for this multi-talented Texan who now campaigns in the talent-laden welterweight division.
MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT
Mario Barrios began boxing at the age of six when his mother, Isabel Soto, took him and his sister Selina to the gym.
“I watched boxing with my father. I remember watching Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, all the great fighters,” said Isabel, who, with her husband, Martin, raised Barrios, older sister Selina (26) and their two younger siblings, Vanessa (17) and Valencia (15).
“I watched Christy Martin and thought, ‘I want to do that.’ I wanted to be a boxer. The problem was that I lived in Wisconsin and there were no opportunities for me to box there. Then, when I moved to San Antonio and had Mario and saw how big boxing was here, I looked for a gym and my husband (Barrios’ stepfather, Martin Soto) and I signed him up.”
Isabel took Barrios and Selina, then an 8-year-old, to the Eastside Boys and Girls Club in San Antonio, Texas. As they matured, Martin trained them as adults. Selina set the pace, winning every tournament she entered and being the better of the siblings until they were teenagers.
Entering his high school freshman year, Barrios stood just 5-foot-5 and had won a few boxing tournaments punctuated by the national PAL tournament as a 95- pound ninth-grader.
“It’s then that I started to realize I was pretty good at this,” said Barrios, who was a spindly 5-foot-7 high school senior, idolized past champions Oscar De La Hoya, Tommy Hearns and Salvador Sanchez as a youth and respects contemporaries such as Terrance Crawford and Gennady Golovkin.
“By the time I was a senior, I was 5-7, fighting at 123, even though I was always lighter than that, more like 116, 117. It’s funny, because no one believed I was a boxer because of my build. But each year I grew an inch. I might still be growing. A lot of people I went to grade and high school with freak out when they see how tall I’ve become and where my career is.”
THE AZTEC WARRIOR
An 18-year-old Barrios ignited his career at 122 ¼ pounds on November 11, 2013, his 99-second stoppage of Rigoberto Moreno taking place before his hometown San Antonio fans at Cowboys Dance Hall.
The debut generated the kind of adulation sought for the young man nicknamed “El Azteca” with almost two-thirds of San Antonio’s residents having Hispanic if not proud Mexican heritage.“San Antonio has a huge Mexican population,” said Mario Serrano, Barrios’ publicist. “San Antonio has had only a few world champions. Only James Leija and a few others were really big. I think Mario is more talented than them. I think he can be really big in this city.”
“Even when I was a kid I was intrigued by my heritage, my culture. I remember when I was in elementary school,” said Barrios. “I was reading books on the Aztec Empire, the civilization and the indigenous people in America. That’s my background and I’m proud of it. I want to represent my people, represent my city. It’s going to be a great honor to bring a world title home.
Barrios went 6-0 with a pair of first-round knockouts in 2014, his final three victories -- between 125 ¼ and 127 ¾ pounds -- being stoppages of Salvador Perez (July) and Abraham Rubio (October) and a four-round unanimous decision over Juan Sandoval (November).
“El Azteca” stepped up his weight, pace and competition in 2015, campaigning from 128-to-131 ¾ pounds, finishing five of seven fights by stoppage and facing six opponents who boasted winning records.
Barrios finished 2015 by returning to San Antonio’s AT&T Center as a 130-pounder on December 12, his sixth-round knockout of hard-hitting Manuel Vides (18-4, 11 KOs coming in) improving his mark to 13-0 with eight KOs.
Barrios rose to 16-0 with 10 stoppages in 2016 following three bouts contested while weighing 135 ½, 130 and 136 ½, respectively. Comprising the wins were those in eight and 12 rounds over sixty fight veteran Edgar Gabejan (April) and former European champion Devis Boschiero (July) as well as a second-round knockout of Claudio Rosendo Tapia (December).
Barrios drained and weakened himself to make 130-pounds against Boschiero. But starting with Tapia, he has been powerfully demonstrative at 9--0 with eight knockouts in as many consecutive 140-pound fights under under 2013 BWAA Trainer of the Year, Virgil Hunter, ending with September’s unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Russian knockout artist Batyr Akhmedov for the WBA’s vacant title.
“My fight [at 130 against Devis Boschiero] was very difficult and in the later rounds I didn’t have the power in my legs. That convinced me that I couldn’t fight at 130 anymore. I feel good at 140; super strong and ready to do something in this weight class,” said Barrios.
“I’m growing more and more as a fighter and ready to show everyone some things I haven’t shown before. I’m growing more and more and more as a fighter and ready to show everyone [at 140] some things I haven’t shown before. ...I might be the boogeyman of the [140-pound] division.”
THE CHAMPIONSHIP RUN
Barrios was 20-0 with 12 knockouts after halting all three opponents in 2017 consisting of a sixth-round stoppage of Yardley Armenta Cruz (March) and consecutive seventh-round knockouts of Jose Luis Rodriguez (June) and Naim Nelson (September).
“I’ve naturally filled out into this weight class. I’ve seen a huge improvement since moving to 140 and working with Virgil, especially in my boxing IQ. I’m absorbing as much knowledge and insight as I can. There are subtle changes like using my jab properly,” said Barrios.
“Working with Virgil has helped me grow intellectually and physically. We’re making significant progress as my strength and power have carried up. I’m fighting at that world championship level. I don’t go looking for knockouts, but I’ve been setting up good punches, dominating every fight and ending them early.”
That domination continued in March 2018 as Barrios returned to San Antonio, where he flattened Eudy Bernardo in the second round at Freeman Coliseum on the undercard of four-division champion Mikey Garcia’s one-knockdown, unanimous decision that dethroned 140-pound titleholder Sergey Lipinets.
Barrios improved to 4-0 with three knockouts in San Antonio against Bernardo, who entered at 23-2 (17 KOs) and had scored consecutive first-round knockouts. “El Azteca’s” 2018 followup was July’s two-knockdown eighth-round stoppage of Jose Roman, who entered their bout at 24-2-1 (16 KOs) and was knocked out for the first time in his career.
It was more of the same in 2019 with consecutive fourth- and second-round knockouts of Richard Zamora (February) and Juan Jose Velasco (June) preceding his crowning achievement against Akhmedov.
Zamora entered at 19-2 with 11 knockouts and had stopped two of three straight opponents in the first round and the other in the third. Velasco, whom Barrios stopped with a sensational left hook to the liver, was coming off an eighth-round TKO loss to former WBA titlist Regis Prograis.
Barrios then dropped Akhmedov (7-1, 6 KOs) in the first round of an action-packed, close unanimous decision victory, ending the loser’s run of four straight stoppage wins.
"I knew this was going to be a war. [Akmedov] was getting dirty in there but the Mexican warrior in me was not going to let this opportunity pass me by. I dug deep and got the victory,” said Barrios of Akhmedov, a fight that happened on the undercard of Errol Spence Jr’s split decision over Shawn Porter in defense of his IBF/WBC 147-pound titles.
“I wanna show I’m a complete fighter, not just a boxer or a puncher, but all-around. I have size, speed, boxing ability and power. I’m not killing myself making 140. I’m strong and looking to stay here for as long as I can. But I believe 147 and 154 are the gold mines of boxing right now where all the champions and big fights are happening. I would be honored to fight any of the champions at 147 in the future.”
A Career-Best Victory
On October 31, 2020, Barrios defended his title against "Cowboy" Ryan Karl in an all-Texas showdown at the Alamodome in San Antonio, live on SHOWTIME pay-per-view.
Under the brightest of lights, Barrios shined, showing his superiority in every facet of the game.
The fight broke open in the sixth round when Barrios landed a straight right hand that sent Karl down for just the third time in his career. Karl's problems were further exasperated after an accidental clash of heads created a brutal cut on his forehead which proved to be too much to cope with. The 25-year-old Barrios smelled blood and closed the show in emphatic fashion, landing a left hook that sent Karl down and out at 2:23 of the sixth round. At the time of the stoppage, Barrios was ahead on all three scorecards (48-47 and 49-46 twice).
In the all-important sixth round, Barrios landed 29 of his 58 power punches against a very tough Karl, who threw 60 punches per round but landed just 18 percent of those punches.
"I told them we'd get this first title defense, and I hope everyone enjoyed it," Barrios said afterward. "I was just being patient and picking my shots. I started to really land them and got him out of there. I was ready to go a hard 12 rounds, but my patience helped me get him out of there. I listened to what Virgil [Hunter] was telling me in the corner. It was great to get the job done here at home."
On June 26, 2021, Barrios defended his title versus undefeated two-division champion Gervonta "Tank" Davis. The headliner took place in front of raucous crowd of 16,570 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, live on SHOWTIME pay-per-view. In a thrilling Fight of the Year candidate, Davis and Barrios fought on even terms for much of the bout. Davis ultimately broke through in the eighth, putting Barrios down twice and then two more times in the eleventh to win via TKO. However, there were no real losers on this night.
“Tank’s explosive,” Barrios said. “He caught me slipping (in the eighth) and it’s boxing. At the end of the day, one punch can change the fight. That’s exactly what I felt happened. Congrats to him. Of course, I wanted to continue. I got up for a reason. I told everybody that I was going to show the Azteca Warrior that I am.”
Barrios made his welterweight debut against former unified champion Keith Thurman on February 5, 2022 in a FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view headliner in Las Vegas. Barrios was game throughout but ultimately dropped a 12-round unanimous decision.
"Tonight I showed the Mexican warrior in me. I take my hat off to Keith Thurman, he’s a warrior as well. We gave the fans a great fight,” said Barrios.
Back In Style
On February 11, 2023, Barrios faced veteran Jovanie Santiago at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Barrios snapped his two-fight losing streak with a razor sharp, career-rejuvenating performance. He dropped Santiago in the eighth round with a left to the body and followed up with a barrage of punches, causing referee Mark Calo-Oy, upon the request of Santiago’s corner, to stop the one-sided fight at 1:42 of the eighth of their welterweight contest scheduled for 10 rounds. Barrios led 70-63 on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
The CompuBox stats backed up Barrios’ dominance. The 27-year-old landed 90 more punches than the gutsy Santiago, who out-threw Barrios by a single punch. Barrios landed 39 more jabs, 51 more power punches and looked super-charged throughout the fight, buoyed from the hometown crowd and his own desire to get back into the win column.
“It feels amazing,” Barrios said afterward. “It took me a while to get into that groove, to get that rhythm. I felt great. I wouldn’t say I was different [tonight], but definitely with a larger arsenal. I’m pretty thankful to have Bob [Santos] in my corner and my sister. I had to get just as physical. That’s another thing we have been working on in the gym. I knew Santiago was coming with it. And he took the fight in my backyard. That says a lot about him. He’s a hell of a warrior, I tip my hat to him.
“I felt myself breaking him down little by little. I just had to be patient. My counter right hand is something that we’ve been working on at the gym in Vegas. I feel I’m definitely up there with the [welterweight] elite. I still have something to prove. I promised my city a world title, and I got it in 2019 and I will do it again.”