INSIDE THE RING: The ‘Circus’ that follows success

Mario Barrios prepares in California for his Showtime PPV fight.

Mario Barrios prepares in California for his Showtime PPV fight against Gervonta Davis.

SAN ANTONIO – The Alamo City’s world champ has grown accustomed to the fireworks that come along with success in boxing: constant travel, network interviews and social media posts both good and bad.

Being undefeated has brought in some money and fame. Now that Mario Barrios is headlining a Showtime pay-per-view fight this summer, that low-profile card Barrios holds is about to get a lot of attention.

And his upcoming opponent, who has great success in the ring and some legal trouble out of it, is helping bring more attention to this bout.

Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) will face Gervonta Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) on June 26th for the WBA World Super Lightweight title which belongs to Barrios. “El Azteca” has been working out in the San Francisco Bay Area with trainer Virgil Hunter. “Tank” is from Baltimore, Maryland and is signed with Mayweather Promotions. In fact, the legendary Floyd Mayweather was in Davis’ corner the last time he fought here in San Antonio.

“I’m just excited to represent my city as I always do,” said Barrios to KSAT 12 Sports on Wednesday. “I can’t remember the last time someone from San Antonio headlined on Showtime pay-per-view. When the fight was announced it was a dream come true; this has been something I have been dreaming of since I was a little kid.”

Barrios, who graduated from Southwest High School, had been considering moving up in weight recently. That move was postponed thanks to one phone call from Davis’ camp.

“This opportunity (to face Davis) was something I couldn’t pass up,” explained Barrios. “We had been looking at moving up before this fight was presented. But Davis and them threw my name out there and called me up. That was an opportunity I wasn’t going to turn away from.”

The second title defense for Barrios will not take place here in San Antonio and likely not anywhere in Texas. Right now, all signs point to the Showtime PPV fight happening in Atlanta, Georgia although the details to finalize that deal are not yet set in stone.

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.