LOS ANGELES — For the fourth time ever, San Antonio has a world champion in the boxing ring.
24-year-old Mario Barrios (25-0, 16 KO) earned a unanimous decision against Batyr Akhmedov (7-1, 6 KO) to win the vacant WBA world title at 140 pounds in the STAPLES Center.
Barrios is now one of three champions the WBA recognizes in that loaded weight class.
Barrios controlled the fight early, but then Akhmedov started to enforce his will on the Southwest High School product. The tipping point in the match might have been the fact Barrios knocked down his opponent twice.
Who knows what Barrios' next fight will be, but one thing is for certain, the man isn't a rising star anymore.
He's a champion.