For lack of better words, Mario Barrios was often used as a guinea pig.
In 2021, Gervonta Davis saw the lanky San Antonio native as the perfect opportunity. Although he normally fought anywhere from 126 to 135 pounds, Davis opted to put on a bit of additional muscle to take him on. The result was a knockout victory in his favor before returning to the lower weights.
Just a few months later, Keith Thurman was attempting to get back in the mix. He was coming off one of his typical long layoffs and needed an opponent to shake off the cobwebs. So, when the former unified welterweight champ came knocking, Barrios answered. It didn’t matter that it was his first time fighting at 147 pounds, if someone wanted to fight, Barrios was down.
This past Saturday night, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Yordenis Ugas attempted to follow that same blueprint. With roughly a year and a half on the sidelines, he finally returned to face Barrios. The WBC sanctioning body added a bit of spice to the matchup, placing the WBC interim title on the line.
Ostensibly, Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs) learned from his previous shortcomings and would go on to win a lopsided decision. But before he could kick off his boxing shoes and enjoy the biggest win of his career, he noticed a gigantic bullseye on his backside.
“I believe me and Barrios would have a very, very, very exciting fight for the WBC title of the world,” said Cody Crowley to ESNEWS during a recent interview.
Crowley’s been on a roll as of late, making the best of a sporadic schedule that has seen him compete just once annually for the past four years. He’s picked up some solid wins, Josesito Lopez and Abel Sanchez stick out the most when you take a look at his resume.
Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs) needs something to fight for. Money is always motivating but grabbing a belt at this stage in his career is an even bigger priority. Actually, considering the current landscape at 147 pounds, it might be his only option.
Terence Crawford has all of the major trinkets in the welterweight division but landing a shot against him is practically impossible. So, with at least some version of a world title in Barrios’ possession, Crowley views him as the most important man on his Hitlist.
“Barrios, I’m coming for you.”