Former super lightweight world champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios shared insights into his training camp and discussed making his welterweight debut before he squares off against former unified welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman on Saturday, February 5 in the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View main event from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The pay-per-view telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and also features four-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz dueling Keenan “Bedo” Carbajal in the co-main event of the four-fight lineup.
The 26-year-old Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) will make his welterweight debut following an impressive run at super lightweight that saw him capture the WBA world title and win his first nine fights in the division, including eight by knockout. Barrios lost the title to three-division champion Gervonta Davis in June in an exciting action fight on pay-per-view.
Here is what the San Antonio, Texas native Barrios had to say leading into his showdown against Thurman:
On his recent training camp:
“I’m having an incredible training camp. I’ve stayed in shape since my last fight and headed to the Bay Area to start camp with Virgil Hunter about three weeks ago. I’ve now moved camp to Las Vegas where I’ll finish off that last couple of weeks until the fight. My sparring has gotten me into perfect condition and I know that I’ll be ready for war come fight night.”
On his upcoming matchup with Keith Thurman:
“Although Thurman has been out of the ring for a couple of years, I know he’s been training hard for this fight and will be in great shape. He’s been one of the best fighters of our era and I expect him to be at his very best. I know what needs to be done on my end and I believe I can execute the game plan we have in place. We both like to let our hands go, so fans can definitely expect to see an explosive fight on February 5.”
On moving up to the welterweight division:
“Making the move to welterweight is going to be very important for me at this stage in my career. I’ve grown into my man strength, and it has been difficult making 140 pounds for these last few years. The extra seven pounds is going to make a tremendous difference in my weight cut, because I’m still big for this weight as well. In this fight we’re going to see if my power comes up with me. I’m confident that it will.”
On fighting on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View:
“I’m grateful to my whole team for giving me this opportunity to fight on pay-per-view once again. I think I’ve proven myself to the fans that I’m a warrior in the ring who will always give a great performance. This fight will be no different, as I’m going into the ring to lay punishment on my opponent. Everyone should order this fight now, because I don’t think this one is going the distance.”
Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions