Mario Barrios and Ryan Karl held their final press conference before their fight for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Lightweight title on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Barrios, an American of Mexican descent, will make the first defense of his belt and will do so in his hometown against Karl, who arrives with great ambition to surprise everyone.
The “Aztec” spoke about how special it is for him to defend the WBA belt at home: “I’m super excited to be back home for my first title defense. Saturday night is going to be an explosive night of boxing throughout this whole card”.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I’m fighting at home and defending my title, so it’s just a dream come true. You have an Aztec warrior and a Texas cowboy going at it. I couldn’t imagine a better contender”, continued the 25-year-old champion.
Barrio highlighted the preparation he had with coach Virgil Hunter and commented on his rival.
“Ryan definitely comes to fight. He’s known for being a pressure fighter. I’ve always considered myself a boxer-puncher. I’ll try to use my jab and fight from the outside as much as I can. But I’ve been known to brawl on the inside as well. It’s going to end up being a fan-friendly fight”, he said.
For his part, Karl noted how motivated he is and also promised that his fight will be the most entertaining of the night.
“You’re going to see a great fight on Saturday. We are going to steal the show, because I’ve come prepared. I’m at my very best and it’s going to make me victorious”, said the “Cowboy”.
At 28 years old, Karl will have his first opportunity for a world title and will do it against an opponent he knows well.
“I’ve known Barrios since the amateurs, but it never crossed my mind that we’d fight because he was much smaller than me then. He’s matured and gotten a lot bigger now”, he said.
“I come to fight, I’m rough and ready and I’m coming to win any way possible. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve never been in a boring fight. Win, lose or draw, you’ll always get your money’s worth”, he continued.
Barrios and Karl will meet in the same event that features Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz, who who will fight for the WBA Super Featherweight and Lightweight belts.