July 22, 2024

WBC Elevates Mario Barrios To Full Welterweight Champion

The WBC has elevated Mario Barrios (29-2, 18 KOs) to their full welterweight title. This was a move that the World Boxing Council had expected to make after they gave Terence Crawford the ‘Champion in recess’ tag when he moved up to 154.

The WBC should have elevated Barrios to full champion after they gave Crawford the ‘Champion in recess’ tag, but they waited for some reason.

It’s not the ideal way for Barrios to pick up the WBC full 147-lb title, but he won’t turn it down. There’s a big payday for the 29-year-old Barrios if Manny Pacquiao comes out of retirement to face him or Devin Haney moves up from 140.

Barrios won the WBC interim title last year by beating Yordenis Ugas, and he’d defended it once against Fabian Maidana. Before that, Barrios beat Jovanie Santiago.

Now that Barrios holds the full WBC belt, he can fight IBF champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis in a unification if he’s feeling ambitious.

Ennis’ promoter, Eddie Hearn, wants to set up a fight with him. It’s a risky one for Barrios, but it’ll pay well. If a fight against the 45-year-old Pacquiao or a clash against Haney doesn’t materialize for Barrios, a unification against Ennis might be his best bet for a payday.

It’s unlikely that Barrios will hold onto his WBC title for long without getting dethroned unless he’s carefully matched by his management because he’s not a good enough fighter to hold up against the top guys. His last fight against Fabian Maidana showed his vulnerability because he was forced to battle hard to defeat this fringe contender.

Barrios has won his last three fights since losing back-to-back matches against Keith Thurman and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. He was knocked out by Tank in the 11th round in 2021 and dominated by Thurman in a one-sided twelve-round unanimous decision defeat in 2022.

Thurman had been out of the ring for close to three years at the time that fight took place, and he was on another level from Barrios.