INSIDE THE RING: Changes Coming for Barrios in 2022

Mario Barrios will be moving up in weight next year as he faces another tough opponent.

Mario Barrios arrives to fight Gervonta Davis before the WBA Super Lightweight world championship boxing match on Saturday, June 26, 2021, in Atlanta. Davis won against Barrios. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (Brynn Anderson, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – The new year will feature changes for San Antonio’s boxing star Mario Barrios.

On Tuesday, Premier Boxing Champions made it official that Barrios will once again headline a pay-per-view event.

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Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) will face Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) on Saturday, February 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada in a 12-round welterweight bout. “El Azteca,” who has been contemplating moving up in weight for several years, has finally decided to make the move and will fight Thurman at 147 pounds in the PPV main event. Tickets are already on sale for the fights at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Thurman, the former unified welterweight world champion, is fighting for the first time since July 2019 when he lost by split decision to Manny Pacquiao. Barrios is also coming off his only loss of his professional career when he lost to Gervonta Davis earlier this summer.

Leading up to the main event will be Leo Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs) facing Keenan Carbajal (23-2-1, 15 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight match. Santa Cruz is coming off his second career loss when he was knocked out by Gervonta Davis in the Alamodome on Halloween night 2020. Carbajal was 3-0 in 2021 and hasn’t lost since 2015.

Also on the card will be Abel Ramos (27-4-2, 21 KOs) fighting Josesito Lopez (38-8, 21 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout. Lopez, who is from Riverside, California, lost to Keith Thurman in 2019 by majority decision for the WBA Super World Welterweight title.

The price for the PPV event has not been announced yet. Thurman and Barrios will meet face-to-face on Wednesday, December 29 in a virtual press conference to start promoting the fight.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 18 years and is an award-winning 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.