SAN ANTONIO – The pressure, as far as Ryan Karl knows, is all on Mario Barrios
Barrios, 25, is the fighter who defends his title on Saturday night at the same place he graduated from high school, in front of a beloved crowd of fans from his hometown If Barrios defeats Karl, he will become San Antonio’s first boxer to successfully defend a world title
The undefeated Barrios is also listed as a 25-1 favorite to conquer Karl on the Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz undercard at Alamodome (Showtime Pay-Per-View; 9 pm ET; $ 74 99) Karl, 28, has won three consecutive fights, but has lost twice by technical knockout in the past three and a half years
Karl (18-2, 12 KOs) feels that boxing fans perceive him as an easy opponent for Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs), but that only motivated the Milan, Texas native, and strengthened his confidence
« It’s relaxing, to be honest with you, » Karl told BoxingScenecom « I’m not supposed to go out and win It takes all the pressure off me and puts it on him And so I’m gonna go out there and do my best, and I’ll be relaxed doing it I’ve got a lot of people coming in, but I’m just sending them to TicketMaster But it’s definitely going to be more stressful for him because it’s his hometown and stuff like This He’s supposed to play He is expected to be at his best But he has a dog living with him, so it’s gonna be a little different than he expects «
The second half of Barrios’ last fight was definitely different from what Barrios expected. He boxed Batyr Akhmedov well during their first half of their 12-round, 140-pound title fight in September 2019, but Barrios admittedly » gassed ”in the second half and allowed Akhmedov to make their fight very competitive on the Errol Spence Jr-Shawn Porter undercard at Staples Center in Los Angeles
Barrios hit Akhmedov of Uzbekistan twice, once in the fourth round and again in the 12th, and won a controversial unanimous decision
Karl thought their fight should have been a draw He noticed that Barrios had suffered a lot of penalties in this fight, but he praised his next opponent for the tenacity displayed by Barrios that night.
« I think Mario is a good fighter » said Karl « He has a lot of good qualities about him I think, you know, he has skills to get to where he is He’s dangerous He’s got a good potency, he’s a good size, he’s got a good range He’s got a lot of good things about him But I just think we’ve got some things we’re going to exhibit, that we’re better at than him That’ll make a difference We have a very good game plan for this fight «
Karl is looking forward to returning from San Antonio to Milan on Sunday in a 2.5 hour drive with a world title to show his two sons, aged 6 and 1
« There has never been a San Antonio champion who has defended their title, » said Karl « Every San Antonio champion lost in their first title defense Saturday night, it will be no different »
World Boxing Association, Regis Prograis, Leo Santa Cruz, Gervonta Davis
World News – UA – Ryan Karl: Barrios is out there with a live dog, will be different from what he expects
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