By Rick Reeno
Junior welterweight prospect Mario Barrios (20-0, 12 KOs) will take a big step up in class when he faces Andrey Klimov (20-4, 10 KOs) on February 10th at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
The main event of that card will see undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia attempt to win a world title in a fourth weight class when he challenges IBF 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets.
In the Showtime televised co-feature, two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy will face Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their May showdown for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title.
Klimov, 35 years old, will look to get his career back on track.
The Russian veteran has a very solid chin and has never been stopped - and even went the distance with Terence Crawford in an HBO televised fight in October 2013, and he holds a decision win over John Molina and a young David Avanesyan.
He earned a shot at the vacant IBF super featherweight title in May 2015, but lost a twelve round decision to then undefeated Jose Pedraza of Puerto Rico. Klimov's patch of bad luck continued, as he went on to lose his next two fights - against rising contenders Liam Walsh and Alejandro Luna.
Before the close of 2017, Klimov got back on his feet when he grabbed a win in September, with a second round knockout of journeyman Ruben Movsesiani in Podolsk, Russia.
Barrios, 22 years old, has been rapidly growing - as a fighter and physically. He's quickly gone from super featherweight to junior welterweight in less than two years time. Standing at 5'10, he has the physical attributes to keep rising.
Last year he saw action three times, all at junior welterweight, and appears to be a much better puncher at the weight. He secured knockout wins over Naim Nelson in September, Jose Rodriguez in June and Yardley Cruz in March.