One of the best fighters in the light heavyweight division, Mario Barrios, is great friends with Brian Mendoza, who will fight WBO junior middleweight world champion Tim Tszyu on Saturday. This will be a very interesting match, and it is already attracting a lot of attention and comments from some of the biggest names in the world of boxing.
Barrios has trained with Mendoza several times and claims that they have become family. They trained together last year when Barrios was preparing for a big fight against Keith Thruman. During sparring, he saw what skills Mendoza has.
Barrios stated that the main advantage of Mendoza is his great physical strength and discipline, so he believes that his friend can shock everyone in Australia. Of course, Tim Tszyu is the big favorite, but Mendoza has so far beaten good fighters who were also favorites against him.
Barrios: Me and Mendoza have been training together for a long time, we have become family
“Brian has real power. Danger is always there when you’re sparring him. He’s such a nice dude but, when you’re training with him, he is moving, moving, it’s almost like he lures you to sleep.
And that’s when he cracks you with something you don’t expect. He catches you with a big shot when you least expect it," Barrios told Fox Sports. “I met Brian before I fought Keith Thurman. I’d sparred with him in Las Vegas and so, before Thurman, I spoke with my manager and said ‘I want to have Brian help me get ready’.
So he became a sparring partner and that’s where we got close. For my last two fights I’ve also continued training in Las Vegas so Brian and I have got even closer, he’s family. “That’s why when they initially brought this fight up, we were at training and I told him ‘if your fight is after mine, I will definitely fly to Australia and support you’.
My fight ended up two weeks before his, so here I am. Because I love the way Brian has taken these big fights, even on short notice. It just proves his dedication, his determination. He’s a hungry fighter. There are just so many things I admire about him as a fighter, as a friend.
And that’s the reason I’ve come all the way across the world to support him”. as quoted by MMAJunkie