Mario Barrios might be a lot of things but one thing that he’s not, is afraid to get into a fistfight. He wasn’t scared to lose his undefeated record to Gervonta Davis. He didn’t show any trepidation when he was asked to move up to a weight class he never competed in to take on Keith Thurman. He also wasn’t unnerved when the name Yordenis Ugas slid across his desk.
This past Saturday night, Ugas needed Barrios to keep his career afloat. He was being plagued by inactivity and the foul smell of a stoppage loss one year prior, making Barrios the perfect cover-up perfume.
But, despite Ugas’ plans, Barrios wasn’t totally interested. The 28-year-old went out and dominated the former champ, beating him down, and dropping him before cruising to a unanimous decision win and the WBC interim title.
Naturally, Barrios now becomes a target. He has a strap, albeit a secondary one, and a fan-friendly style. With his stock at an all-time high, Barrios could call out whomever. That, however, wouldn’t be in his nature.
Although he didn’t flat-out name his next desired opponent, Barrios did acknowledge that Jaron Ennis is someone that he would have no issue fighting.
“I would welcome a fight with anybody,” Barrios told FightHype.com during a recent interview when asked if he would be willing to fight Ennis next. “I want to fight the best. I’ve shown that I’m not afraid to take a fight with anybody.”
It isn’t every day that someone appears at least interested in facing Ennis. The 26-year-old has barely lost rounds, let alone an actual fight. When last seen, Roiman Villa was his latest victim.
At this point, Ennis isn’t simply viewed as a contender, but more of a generational talent with ridiculous skill.
Barrios hears the superlatives loud and clear. Hell, to a certain extent, he agrees with them. That said, it doesn’t matter if it’s Ennis, Keith Thurman, or another elite 147-pounder who stands in his way, Barrios believes that he’s at the top of his game.
“I feel like I’m reaching my prime. These next few years of my career are going to be important.”