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SA boxer puts undefeated record on the line

Barrios makes weight, ready for Saturday's showdown

Courtesy: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions
Courtesy: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

SAN ANTONIO – Local boxer Mario Barrios and his team are on the East Coast getting ready for Saturday's 10-round junior welterweight fight.

Barrios (23-0, 15 KOs) will face Argentinian boxer Juan Jose Velasco (20-1, 12 KOs) as the co-main event at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia, which will be broadcast live on Fox and Fox Deportes.

Barrios is the current WBA Inter-Continental Welterweight champ, while Velasco is coming off his first career loss suffered the last time he fought in July.

Both fighters made weight Friday in Arlington, Virginia.

"I feel great, even better after facing him face-to-face again," Barrios said to KSAT 12 Sports. "I saw subtle things in his demeanor that lets me know he's not confident how he says he is. I don't think too much into it."

Courtesy: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions
Courtesy: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

​The Southwest High School graduate had been working out in California with trainer Virgil Hunter and sparring with numerous big names in boxing.

While Barrios continues to intensify his training, Velasco is looking forward to using the lessons he learned in defeat to get his 21st career win.

"He's tasted defeat and I'm sure he didn't like that and doesn't want to taste it again," Barrios said. "He's going to be 110%, which is what I want. I want to face the best version of himself and that's the only way that's going to bring everything out of me as a fighter."

Barrios, aka "El Azteca," is no stranger to the spotlight or publicity. He's already been showcased nationally and is currently on a seven-consecutive knockout streak.

The achievements continue to mount up but Barrios has stayed pretty humble and only focused on the fight ahead of him.

"Velasco is a pretty effective counter-puncher and he has power. We're not taking him lightly and we're treating it like it's a championship fight. Come fight night, I'll be able to showcase my talents and my skills."

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 16 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email sports@ksat.com.