LAS VEGAS – Mario Barrios joked that his family was much happier to be around him in the final few days that led to him making weight late Friday morning.
Shrinking himself down to the 140-pound limit became a torturous process for the former WBA world super lightweight champion, so taxing that the 5-foot-10 San Antonio native knew he had to move up following his last fight. That high-profile opportunity will come Saturday night, when Barrios will encounter former WBA/WBC welterweight champ Keith Thurman in a 12-round main event at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena, where they also weighed in.
Thurman stepped on the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s scale at 145½ pounds, a pound-and-a-half below the division’s limit. Barrios officially weighed 146¼ pounds.
Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC), of Clearwater, Florida, is listed by most Internet sportsbooks as less than a 2-1 favorite to defeat the taller, younger Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) in their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event (9 p.m. ET; $74.95).
Thurman, 33, will end a 2½-year layoff Saturday night. He had hand surgery six weeks after his 12-round, split-decision defeat to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena and extended his hiatus once the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
Barrios, 26, will fight for the first time since he suffered his first defeat, an 11th-round, technical-knockout to unbeaten knockout artist Gervonta Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) on June 26 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
FOX Sports Pay-Per-View
9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT
Leo Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs), Rosemead, California, 128¾ pounds vs. Keenan Carbajal (23-2-1, 15 KOs), Phoenix, 129 pounds, 10 rounds, junior lightweights.
Jesus Ramos (17-0, 14 KOs), Casa Grande, Arizona, 152½ pounds vs. Vladimir Hernandez (13-4, 6 KOs), Ciudad Lerdo, Mexico, 153½ pounds, 10 rounds, middleweights.
Carlos Castro (27-0, 12 KOs), Phoenix, 121½ pounds vs. Luis Nery (27-0, 12 KOs), Tijuana, Mexico, 121¾ pounds, 10 rounds, junior featherweights.
7 p.m. ET; 4 p.m. PT
Abel Ramos (27-4-2, 21 KOs), Casa Grande, California, 145½ pounds vs. Lucas Santamaria (12-2-1, 7 KOs), Garden Grove, California, 145½ pounds, 10 rounds, junior middleweights.
Omar Juarez (12-1, 5 KOs), Brownsville, Texas, 141¾ pounds vs. Ryan Karl (19-3, 12 KOs), Milano, Texas, 145½ pounds, 10 rounds, welterweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.