Mario Barrios towered over Devis Boschiero in the ring in every which way Saturday night, and took a giant step forward to a 130-pound world title shot in the process.
Standing nearly 6-foot-1, Barrios used his exceptional height and reach advantages to control the 5-foot-5½ Boschiero from the outset and cruise to a 12-round unanimous decision at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
With the decision already well in hand, Barrios sealed the deal when he floored the former world title challenger in the final round to earn a clean 120-107 sweep on all three judges’ scorecards.
The knockdown was one of the few bursts of action in the fight as the length of Mario Barrios (16-0, 8 KOs) continually frustrated Devis Boschiero (39-5-1, 21 KOs), a 34-year-old Italian who was making his U.S. debut.
“Initially my game plan was to work the jab and see what would open him up,” Barrios said. “But as the rounds went by he didn’t seem like he was going to come at me. He just didn’t seem to want any action.”
The victory marked the first time the 21-year-old Barrios went past eight rounds in his career, and it moved the San Antonio native into the No. 2 position for a shot at 130-pound world champion Jose Pedraza.
“This was my first 12-round fight, and it felt good to get the experience,” Barrios said. “I was just hoping for more intense action. An ESPN main event takes my career to the next level. I’m just hoping for my shot at the title.”
Barrios barely needed more than his jab to keep Boschiero at bay, and simply the threat presented by his length was enough to keep the former European champion seemingly frozen at times.
“It was pretty frustrating. I came out to put on a show for the fans,” Barrios said. “Unfortunately it seemed like my opponent was just trying to survive. I can try to press the fight all I want, but if he doesn’t want to fight it’s not going to happen.”
Barrios dropped Boschiero to a knee with a left uppercut in the 12th round, and the Italian veteran rebounded well enough to instigate a frenzied exchange until the final bell, but it was a rare show of aggression on his part.
“I had trouble finding my range tonight. He was tougher to hit then I expected,” Boschiero said. “I got to him in the final round, but the opportunities were there when they weren’t in previous rounds.”
In the card’s other televised fight, 140-pound prospect Eddie Ramirez (14-0, 9 KOs), a 24-year-old Chicago Golden Gloves champion, remained unbeaten with a 10-round unanimous decision over Jessie Roman (20-3, 9 KOs).
BY: LEM SATTERFIELD