Mario Barrios to fight in hometown San Antonio on Showtime card

Boxing


Mario Barrios, an up-and-coming junior welterweight from San Antonio, will have his hometown fans cheering for him at his next fight while also getting national television exposure.

Showtime announced on Monday that Barrios’ 10-round fight against Eudy Bernardo will be part of the Showtime Extreme coverage of the March 10 card at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.

Also on the Showtime Extreme coverage of the event will be a lightweight world title elimination fight pitting Richard Commey against Alejandro Luna and, time permitting, junior featherweight prospect Brandon Figueroa against Jonathan Aguilar in a scheduled eight-rounder.

The Showtime Extreme bouts will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT ahead of the main card, which begins at 10 p.m. ET and is headlined by lightweight world titleholder Mikey Garcia going for a belt in a fourth weight class when he challenges junior welterweight titlist Sergey Lipinets. In the co-feature, former two-division titlist Rances Barthelemy faces Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their close junior welterweight eliminator last May, this time for a vacant 140-pound world title.

Barrios (20-0 12 KOs), 22, who is trained by Virgil Hunter, will be fighting at home for the first time since 2015 and he’s excited about it.

“I haven’t been back home in a while, and I’m looking forward to putting on a tremendous performance in front of my family and hometown fans,” Barrios said. “If the knockout comes, early or late, I’ll take it. If not, we’re going in there to do what we do best, and that’s win. I’m trying to show that I’m on the level where I can get one of those titles either later this year or early next year.”

Bernardo (23-2, 17 KOs), 31, of the Dominican Republic, has won two fights in a row by knockout and is aiming for the upset.

“I hope that Barrios isn’t underestimating me because I am full of confidence and positive that I’m going to win,” he said. “I have a great plan that I’m going to use to catch him by surprise. I don’t care if it’s by knockout or decision, I will win.”

Commey (25-2, 22 KOs), 30, of Ghana, and Luna (22-0, 15 KOs), 26, of Bellflower, California, will fight for the right to become the mandatory challenger for lightweight world titleholder Robert Easter Jr., who got knocked down by Commey in a split decision win to claim a vacant title in September 2016.

“I think this is a good fight where neither of us are the favorite,” Commey said. “After losing two close decisions [in a row] there is natural pressure to go for the knockout. But I believe that the judges will be fair and reward me if it goes the distance so I can earn another shot at the title. This is my first fight with [trainer] Andre Rozier and I’m inspired working in his gym with guys like Daniel Jacobs and Sadam Ali. I’m 100 percent focused on clearly beating Luna and earning my rematch with Robert Easter Jr.”

Luna will be taking a big step up in opposition.

“Commey’s a tough competitor whose losses were very close, disputable fights that could have gone either way, so I’ll go in being smart, using my jab and sticking to our game plan,” Luna said. “We’re both boxer-punchers who like to mix it up, throw bombs and brawl if we have to. There’s going to be a lot of action and we might steal the show. We’ll give the fans their money’s worth, either way.”

Figueroa (14-0, 9 KOs), 21, of Weslaco, Texas, is the younger brother of former lightweight world titleholder Omar Figueroa.

“I’m happy to be on such a big card. San Antonio is like my second home,” said Figueroa, who is 5-0 with four knockouts fighting in the city. “I’m getting a lot of exposure fighting on this world-class event that is headlined by Mikey Garcia. It’s the kind of step-up I need.”

Aguilar (20-7, 17 KOs), 24, of Mexico, is 3-3 in his past six bouts.



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