Richard Quiñones (Journeymen Boxing) – Rising undefeated super featherweight prospect Mario Barrios cruised to an easy win in a less than stellar performance over Italy’s Devis Boschiero Saturday night in the 12-round main event of PBC on ESPN from the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
Barrios (16-0, 8ko’s), who earlier in the week said he wanted to come out aggressive, did just that as he got his jab going early and often. He was able to find distance during the early rounds against the smaller Boschiero, who was making his U.S. debut.
All of his fights have been in Italy except his four losses — two European title bouts in France; the loss to Stephen Smith, which was in England; and a split-decision loss to then-junior lightweight world titleholder Takahiro Ao in Japan in 2011.
With the win, Barrios earned a No. 2 ranking in a sanctioning body and has now moved a step closer to a mandatory title bout against 130-pound titleholder Jose Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs).
However, he was displeased about his performance.
“Initially my game plan was to work the jab and see what would open (Boschiero) up,” he said afterward. “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.”
In a fight that did not see a ton of action, Boschiero (39-5-1, 8ko’s) seemed disinterested in engaging at all, promoting a chorus of boos from the small crowd in attendance.
There was a glimmer of hope for the Italian, as he found a couple of openings and landed some solid shots that kept Barrios on his toes in the second and latter stages of the third round.
However, the action was short-lived as Barrios regained control and coasted the rest of the way.
“It was pretty frustrating. I came out to put on a show for the fans, and unfortunately it seemed like my opponent was just trying to survive,” said Barrios. “I can try to press the fight all I want, but if he doesn’t want to fight it’s not going to happen.”
Boschiero, who challenged for a world title back in 2011, seemed shocked that he was not able to find any openings.
“I had trouble finding my range tonight. He was tougher to hit than I expected,” he added.
With the bout already decision, the action finally heated up in the 12th round, with each boxer exchanging blows.
Afterward via twitter, Barrios to took social media to apologize to his fans again for his performance.
“Want to apologize to the fans. Wanted to put on an exciting fight but what can we do. We got the W, now on the the next,” he tweeted out.
In other televised action, undefeated prospect Eddie Ramirez (14-0, 9 KOs) easily defeated Jessie Roman (20-3, 9 KOs) by unanimous decision (98-92, 99-91 X 2) in a 10-round super lightweight tilt.
My interview with Mario earlier in the week.