Some boxers say they live to fight, yet many do so just once or twice a year. At the opposite end of the activity spectrum is Mario Barrios.
Mario Barrios (15-0, 8 KOs) will step in the ring for the ninth time in 16 months on July 9, when the rapidly rising 130-pound star risks his unbeaten record against Devis Boschiero (39-4-1, 20 KOs) at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
The scheduled 12-round fight headlines a Premier Boxing Champions card that will also feature a 10-round matchup of unbeaten 135-pound prospects Kevin Watts (11-0, 4 KOs) of Los Angeles and Eddie Ramirez (13-0, 9 KOs) of Chicago.
A native of San Antonio who turned pro at age 18 in November 2013, Barrios won seven fights last year from early March through mid-December, stopping five of his opponents inside the distance. The last of those 2015 victories came in his hometown, a six-round knockout of Manuel Vides (18-4).
Barrios then took a well-deserved four-month break before returning to action April 16, when he earned an eight-round shutout against Edgar Gabejan at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The eight rounds matched the longest distance Barrios, 21, has gone in his 2½ year pro career.
While Gabejan was a journeyman from the Philippines, Barrios now figures to face a tougher challenge in Boschiero. The hard-hitting former world title challenger from Italy has won five of his last six fights, all by knockout and all in his home country. In fact, Boschiero has fought all but his four his contests in Italy, never once competing outside of Europe or Asia.
“I look forward to making my American debut on July 9 in New Jersey,” Boschiero said. “I know a win over Barrios will take me toward a world title shot. I plan on coming to America and putting on a great performance and bringing a great victory back to Italy.”
The 34-year-old Boschiero will have the experience edge in his first North American fight, but the long and lean Barrios will have youth, height (6-foot vs. 5-foot-5½) and reach on his side (74 inches vs. 68 inches) as he continues his quest for his first title opportunity.
“This will be a great opportunity to showcase my talent to the world on ESPN,” Barrios said. “The time is now to take the super featherweight division by storm. A victory will put me one step closer to fulfilling my dream of becoming a world champion. I will not be denied.”
For complete coverage of Barrios vs Boschiero, visit our fight page.