LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Another title belt is coming back to San Antonio.
In a battle of unbeaten boxers at a packed Staples Center, Southwest high school graduate Mario Barrios used early pressure and a late knockdown to win a hotly contested, 140-pound fight over Batyr Akhmedov via unanimous decision and become the WBA World Super Lightweight champion.
Barrios controlled the tempo for the first four rounds and scored a knockdown in the fourth, but Ahkmedov seized momentum in the fifth. The Uzbekistan native pressured Barrios throughout the final eight rounds and landed 103 more punches (238 to 135), but Barrios recovered and scored his second knockdown with 25 seconds remaining in the 12th round. When the dust settled, Barrios' hand was raised as the new champion and the title belt was placed on his shoulder.
Judges scored the fight 116-111, 115-111 and 114-112 in favor of Barrios, snapping a streak of eight-straight knockouts. It is Barrios' second professional belt.