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INSIDE THE RING: Saturday night and future fights

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Here's the latest boxing news coming out of San Antonio this weekend.

SELINA SHINES AT SHRINE

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Selina Barrios learned a thing or two in her first career loss. The main lesson learned was pretty simple: who wants it more.

On Saturday, she used that lesson to add a victory to the win column.

“The Aztec Queen" faced Nina Gallegos in a four-round lightweight bout at the Alzafar Shrine Center. Barrios won with a first round knockout thanks to a crush left hook to the ribs of Gallegos.

“I wanted to make a statement with a knockout performance and I was blessed to deliver it," said Barrios on Sunday. "It was beautiful to see the fans of San Antonio come out and support our boxing event last night. The boxing community and fans in San Antonio are incredible. I'm hoping we can continue to bring more boxing shows to our great city.”

The Southwest High School alum is now 6-1 with 3 knockouts.

“WORLD STAR" PUTS ON SHOW

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Super featherweight Henry Arredondo also fought last night. Arredondo make it clear during the week that this test against a veteran boxer would show whether he belonged in this sport. He showed he belongs after facing Alejandro Moreno. The 22-year-old boxer had no problems with the 41-year-old veteran from Mexico, winning by second round knockout thanks to a left hook to the body followed by a right cross to the head.

“The energy in the crowd last night was unbelievable and I want to thank all the fans in San Antonio for their support," said Arredondo, who is now 6-0 with 3 knockouts. "I want to give everyone in attendance a great show and I do believe I came through by scoring a knockout.”

BARRIOS LEAVING SAN ANTONIO

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Undefeated welterweight Mario Barrios will soon be headed to California in preparation for his September fight. He's been in his hometown of San Antonio recently, training with his sister before her latest bout.

“We always appreciate San Antonio supporting us," said Barrios Friday afternoon. "They always have our back through everything and watching Team Barrios continue to rise.”

Barrios now departs for the West Coast where he will train with Virgil Hunter before his showdown with Batyr Akhmedov, a 28-year-old super lightweight who has is 7-0 with 6 of those fights coming by way of knockout. Barrios, also known as "El Azteca," will be fighting for the vacant WBA "regular" junior welterweight title.

“I’m going to be facing the ranked number two guy in the WBA, I'm ranked number one," said Barrios. "This is very special, as a kid you dream of fighting for this stuff. Now that it's here, it's unreal.”

Besides the undefeated record (24-0, 16 KOs), Barrios is also putting his knockout streak on the line. He's won his last eight fights by way of knockout, a streak that started in December of 2016.

“Since I made the move up to 140 pounds, every fight has come by either stoppage or knockout," added Barrios. "I never go in the ring looking for it but I feel stronger this way, I'm looking to take over.”

“I promised San Antonio a world title a long time ago," continued Barrios. "Now that the opportunity is here, there is no way I'm coming back home without it.”

Barrios said an official announcement for his next fight will be made soon.

TANAJARA JR. READY FOR SATURDAY

Holmes High School graduate Hector Tanajara Jr. will face Ezequiel Aviles in a 10-round lightweight contest in North Texas this weekend. Tanajara Jr. (17-0, 5 KOs) is coming off a win over Ivan Delgado back in late February. Aviles (16-3-3, 6 KOs) is a 27-year old boxer from Mexico who hasn't fought in almost a year.

“Camp has been going great," Tanajara Jr. told us Thursday from this camp in California. "I've been getting great sparring with world champ Jose Ramirez and my other teammates.”

When asked about having to change anything going into this fight, "El Finito" had this to say:

“I know my opponent is a tough guy and he can take a punch. I don't have to change anything. I've been working on using my jab a lot more and being more composed in the ring.”

TRILOGY FOR FRANCO

Joining Tanajara Jr. will be another local boxing rising star.

Joshua Franco has several belts to his name and he's not ready to give them up. On Saturday, Franco will battle in something most boxers never get to do: face an opponent in the ring for the third straight time. Franco will face Oscar Negrete in Grand Prairie, Texas for the WBA International Bantamweight title and NABF Bantamweight title. Franco, also known as "El Profesor," won those belts in their last matchup.

The series has been a very close one, with their first match ending in a draw. Then, back in April, Franco won by split decision. Now, and for the last time, these two boxers face each other to settle things once and for all.

Tanajara's fight, along with Franco's, can be seen on DAZN streaming service this coming Saturday night.

Photo courtesy of Robert Elizondo.

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 dvillanueva@ksat.com


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