INSIDE THE RING: Mario Barrios vs. Gervonta Davis this summer

“El Azteca” defends his title this coming June on PPV.

Mario Barrios delivers a strong right against Ryan Karl on October 31, 2020 in the Alamodome. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin and Showtime. (Esther Lin, Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – This time last year, the boxing world came to a halt due to COVID-19. Boxers all over the country waited for months to see when they could spar and fight again.

The start of 2021 has been extremely quiet for many of San Antonio’s area boxers. Fighters have been waiting patiently again to see when they can enter the ring and continue their professional careers.

That wait is finally over for Mario Barrios.

Barrios, the reigning WBA World Super Lightweight title holder, will defend his belt against fellow undefeated boxer Gervonta Davis on June 26 live on Showtime pay-per-view. Davis, who last fought at 130-pounds, will be moving up two weight classes to fight against Barrios.

Both fighters last fought as the co-main and main events in the Alamodome on Halloween night last year, the first fight in the country that allowed fans inside since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Southwest High School grad defeated fellow Texan Ryan “Cowboy” Karl on October 31st with a sixth-round technical knockout, giving “El Azteca” his first knockout win since 2019. Barrios is 26-0 with 17 knockouts and has been staying in shape waiting in anticipation for the details of this bout to be worked out.

Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) easily defeated Leo Santa Cruz that same evening in the Alamodome. Davis delivered a brutal left uppercut to Santa Cruz in the sixth-round, earning the knockout win while defending his WBA World Lightweight title and taking away Santa Cruz’s WBA Super Featherweight title.

The site of this PPV fight has not been decided yet, KSAT 12 Sports has learned that a site in Texas as well as Atlanta, Georgia and Las Vegas, Nevada are being considered to host the championship bout.

While Barrios has kept a low profile since his last fight, Davis has been in the headlines in his hometown of Baltimore.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Davis was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run crash in Baltimore just five days after his win over Leo Santa Cruz. Three weeks ago, Davis was charged with 14 misdemeanors related to that crash that left four individuals from another vehicle injured.

Davis will also stand trail in May in Miami-Dade County for two misdemeanor battery charges that allegedly occurred during Super Bowl weekend last year. According to WTVJ in Miami, one of the charges could be upgraded to a felony after one of the victims suffered permanent hearing damage after what she claims was from a punch to the head by Davis.

It appears the recent legal trouble with Davis did not keep Showtime from scheduling this bout with Barrios, but we will have to wait and see if any possible legal punishment for Davis ends up affecting the June fight.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 17 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email

About the Author:

Daniel P. Villanueva has been with KSAT 12 since 2003 and is the producer of our weekly sports show, "Instant Replay." Villanueva is a graduate of St. Mary's University and is a TAPB and Lone Star Emmy award winner.