INSIDE THE RING: Barrios vs. Pacquiao in 2024?

Both Mario Barrios and his trainer are talking about possibly facing Pacquiao in his return fight.

A possible title fight between Mario Barrios and Manny Pacquiao is being worked out for this fall in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)

SAN ANTONIO – It was the fight no one had planned for 2024.

No, not the Mike Tyson vs. Jake Paul event, that was rescheduled for November.

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We are talking “El Azteca”.

Mario Barrios could once again be at center of one of the most talked about fights of the year.

According to a report published Saturday afternoon by ESPN, boxing great Manny Pacquiao wants a return to the ring for one last title fight - and he has chosen Barrios as that opponent. The bout would be in the fall for the WBC welterweight title fought in Las Vegas, where Barrios has trained since rejoining trainer Bob Santos.

“I’m very excited at the possibility of this fight being made,” Barrios said to KSAT 12 Sports over the weekend. “Manny Pacquiao is a future Hall of Famer, a legend and someone I looked up to growing up. To share the ring with him would be an honor and a dream come true.”

Barrios (29-2, 18 KOs) has fought six times since COVID-19 put much of the sports world on hold in 2020. The Southwest High School grad last fought in early May when he successfully defended his WBC Interim World Welterweight title against Fabian Maidana. Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) last fought on August 21, 2021 when he lost by unanimous decision to Yordenis Ugas. Ugas would lose to Barrios in September of last year by unanimous decision.

“We would love to step into the ring with Manny Pacquiao,” said Barrios’ trainer Bob Santos to KSAT 12 Sports Sunday night. “Mario Barrios is a world champion and deserving of this opportunity. This fight would go down as one of the most memorable fights in San Antonio history and sports in general.”

The age difference has a lot of people talking since news of the possible title fight broke. Pacquiao is 45 years old has not fought professionally in almost three years. Barrios turned 29 last month.

Sunday night on Instant Replay, we asked if fans wanted to see this fight happen for Barrios. Here’s what our viewers said:

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 21 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.

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