Barrios vs Maidana Predictions: Knockout a cert for Super Mario

 | 3rd May | 

3 mins read

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Mario Barrios makes the first defence of his WBC interim welterweight title this Saturday, May 4, against Fabian Maidana. The bout takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, on the undercard of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Jaime Munguia. DAZN will screen the card. Here are my Barrios vs Maidana predictions ahead of an interesting title 12-rounder.

Barrios vs Maidana Tips

  • Barrios by knockout @ 5/6
  • Will the fight go the distance - No @ 8/11

Barrios is coming off a career-best win in his last fight. ‘El Azteca’ clinched the vacant WBC interim strap with a unanimous decision win over former WBA champion Yordenis Ugas. ‘54 Milagros’ is best-known for his 2021 win over Manny Pacquiao in the last fight of the legend’s career. Barrios was considered an underdog in the fight, but knocked Ugas down twice on the way to a wide points nod.

It was something of a coming-out party for Barrios at welterweight. A former WBA king at super lightweight, his campaign in that division ended with consecutive losses. First, he lost his championship to Gervonta Davis by 11th-round knockout. Then a comebacking Keith Thurman outpointed Barrios. The Texan had hit a firm bump in the road. From world champion to staring down the barrel of twin-defeats.

A restorative move to welterweight was decided upon. Barrios gave himself a soft landing at 147-pounds against Jovanie Santiago, a fighter riding his own two-fight slump. Santiago had lost to Adrien Broner and Gary Antuanne Russell in his previous two, fine company to keep. Barrios knocked the Puerto Rican out in eight rounds to put his own train back on the track.

The Ugas upset followed, firmly re-establishing Barrios at the top end of the game. Now he faces Maidana in a bid to solidify his position in a welterweight division that is opening up dramatically.

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WBC, WBA and WBO champion Terence Crawford is set to move up to super welterweight to face Israil Madrimov for the WBA 154-pound strap. What this means for his trio of welterweight baubles is unclear. But if he secures a title at the weight above ‘Bud’ could well vacate some or all of these titles. 

Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis holds the IBF belt that Crawford already vacated in the wake of his win over Errol Spence Jr. Meanwhile, WBA ‘regular’ kingpin Eimantas Stanionis defends his trinket on this very card, against two-time Olympian Gabriel Maestre. In short, there are a lot of opportunities out there for an in-form welterweight.

Standing in the way of Barrios’ further ambitions is Maidana. If you recognise that surname in a boxing context, it is with good reason. Popular warrior Marcos Maidana is Fabian’s elder brother. Marcos is remembered for pushing Floyd Mayweather to the limit across two fights, humbling Adrien Broner and beating the likes of Erik Morales and Victor Ortiz.

Fabian’s achievements have not come close to those of his iconic sibling. The shadow of a boxing relation can loom large and the younger Maidana’s career has taken place at a lower level.  Losses to Jaider Parra and Francisco Mercado pockmark a record that peaked with a reign as WBC Latino champion.

Maidana is riding a four-fight winning streak coming in, admittedly against boxers he was heavily-favoured to beat. That certainly isn’t the case this time out. Maidana is 8/1 to pull this one out of the bag. Stranger things have happened, but not many.

I think this fight will be a showcase for Barrios as he continues to prove his welterweight mettle. I’m backing the WBC interim champion to retain his title via knockout at 5/6. Maidana has no evidence on his record that he can cope with what Barrios brings. I think he’ll wilt before this one is done.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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