While most eyes this week will be locked on the activities around Saturday’s blockbuster main event between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Jaime Munguia, Texan Mario Barrios is in the final hours of his own training camp, which will serve as the Alvarez-Munguia co-main.

And Barrios is hoping to steal the show.

Barrios, 28, who goes by the nickname “El Azteca”, is set to defend his Interim WBC welterweight title against Fabián “TNT” Maidana, hailing from Argentina, on Saturday, May 4th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Barrios, a former world champion at 140 pounds, won a pivotal contest over Yordenis Ugas last year on the Canelo-Charlo pay-per-view undercard. 

The bout proved Barrios was a top-10 welterweight. It also earned him his interim belt – with Terence Crawford holding the outright title – but who is scheduled to fight at junior middleweight on August 3 against Israil Madrimov. 

Barrios has overcome losses to Gervonta Davis and Keith Thurman while his opponent, Maidana, 31, is seeking to uphold his family’s fighting legacy, as the brother of Marcos Maidana.

“I know going into this fight that Maidana is coming in with his back against the wall,” Barrios told BoxingScene. “He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. He wants what’s mine and that’s my title, and for that reason it’s going to be a very hard fight.  

Barrios believes fans know that the co-feature will be a violent battle and he isn’t looking past Maidana, despite the possibility of high-profile fights being on the horizon for the winner. 

“I don’t think so [in regard to if the fight is being overlooked], everyone knows Maidana is going to bring it,” Barrios stated. “I’m not looking past him. I know that. I’ve been training hard every day, sparring the best fighters in Vegas. I’m ready to go and I know he is. To be honest, this might be the fight of the night. 

“Knowing the hard work I put into this camp has given me confidence in my ability to come out victorious. It’s going to be a war, and that’s my mindset going into this fight.”

Lucas Ketelle is a proud member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and author of “Inside The Ropes of Boxing” (available on Amazon). Contact him on X @LukieBoxing.