WHILE many fighters admit that they prefer to climb between the ropes and let their fists do the talking, completing media rounds comes as part of the territory. 

Shunning the mic and tape recorder isn’t a viable option during fight week as hyperbole and excess are required to sell the spectacle and whip up excitement.

Staying mentally and physically focused is the aim for Mario Barrios as he continues to reinvigorate a career that threatened to stall as back-to-back defeats within eight months bit hard. 

Discussing tomorrow night’s opponent, Fabian Maidana, is just as daunting for Barrios as shipping hard bombs from Gervonta Davis and Keith Thurman.

“I still hate being in front of cameras and answering a lot of the same questions, but I know it’s all part of the business,” Barrios told an unoffended Boxing News.

Later conceding that bothersome fight week obligations are a good problem to have, Barrios was far more in his comfort zone when discussing life in the welterweight division. Having boiled his body down to as low as 122 pounds in the past, the days of sweating off every last ounce are thankfully behind him.

You know, I feel comfortable. I feel like me and my team, we have kind of figured out how to make the weight while maintaining as much strength as I can. And, you know, I’m going to try to stay here [at 147] for as long as I can.”

Even as the younger brother of Argentine power-punching legend Marcos Maidana, little is known of Fabian Maidana in terms of top-level potential. Mario has soaked up all the information he needs to get the job done.

“I know enough. I know that he’s coming a long way. He’s trying to improve a lot with this fight, with his performance. So I’m expecting a very hard-fought 12 rounds,” mused Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs), who has brought coach Bob Santos out of the shadows to help shape the next career phase by returning to tried and tested methods.

“Bob has always been part of my team. But recently, the last two years, he’s the head trainer once again.

“We’ve [brought back] the attributes that had always made me great. Fighting on the inside, getting rough when I need to. And, of course, always working everything off of the jab. These are things that we have always continuously worked on, and a lot of those things still work.”

Mario Barrios

Overlooking Maidana (22-2, 16 KOs), in the Canelo-Munguia co-main event, would be a mistake. However, with natural rivals emerging from the card, it’s hard not to look across and keep an eye on the progress of some potential future foes.

“I want everybody. In the opening fight, we’ve got Stanionis and Maestre. I want Maestre to pull this off because he’s a friend of mine. I mean, it’ll be huge for him. But at the same time, whoever comes out with the WBA, that’s still a fight I’m going to want down the line.”

Continuing his winning streak and receiving additional exposure could make the attention a little more palatable. The San Antonio slugger might even start enjoying being interviewed.

“Not at all,” he grinned. 

“It really is a blessing to be on this type of platform and get this type of exposure. So, as much as I don’t like it, I know it is beneficial to not only me but also my career.

“So I’ll continue to put up with it.”