By Elisinio Castillo
Featherweight contender Jonathan Barros stated - "long ago I was looking for a tough and compromising challenge and thank God it was given to me" - in reference to the upcoming fight that will take place on Saturday, January 28, against the featherweight champion of the International Boxing Federation (IBF), Welshman Lee Selby, at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
The 32-year-old Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs), ranked first by the IBF, won the mandatory right to face Selby (23-1, 8 KOs) after coming away victorious in a final eliminator which took place in Tokyo on October 3, by majority decision, over local fighter Satoshi Hosono.
Barros was a featherweight champion under the WBA when he defeated Pan-American Irving Berry by TKO in the seventh round on December 4, 2010 in Mendoza. Then retained the title in the Luna Park in October of 2011, and then lost it on points when he faced Panamanian Celestino Caballero.
The tough pupil of former WBO featherweight champion Julio Pablo Chacón has continued his tough preparation in the gym and plans to fly out to Las Vegas in the coming weeks.
"I am confident that I will bring the championship belt to Mendoza. We are having a great preparation, some really great sparring that is really getting me ready for what I'll be up against in Las Vegas," Barros said.
"I'm in the final stage of the preparation. The truth is that we have prepared very well, we are finalizing details with our final workouts for speed and power, to finish with the heaviest part of the training. Ever since we found out about the possibility of landing a final eliminator in Japan with Hosono, all I could think about is being world champion. I already passed that test successfully and I won this world title opportunity, which I will not waste. I will achieve that goal. I am preparing very well because I know what it takes to get a title away from home.
"Selby is a difficult fighter, a complicated style, a very good boxer and very tall for the weight, but we are watching and studying him. We have several plans, we just have to go out there and get that title."