Jovanie Santiago vs Mario Barrios Preview February 11th, 2023
Former WBA Super Lightweight champion Mario Barrios of San Antonio, Texas returns to the ring this Saturday, February 11th in a 10-round super lightweight tilt against Jovanie Santiago of Puerto Rico. The fight from San Antonio can be seen live on Showtime in America. Barrios last fought a year ago when he moved up in weight and dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to former welterweight champion Keith Thurman. Santiago last saw action in May, 2021 when he was stopped after the sixth round by Gary Antuanne Russell.
Santiago vs Barrios Betting Odds
Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook BetOnline.ag (full review here).
- Jovanie Santiago +425
- Mario Barrios -650
The 33-year-old Santiago enters the ring with record of 14-2-1 with 10 Ko’s and has boxed just 80 rounds since turning pro in 2007. That’s partly due to his 10 knockouts in 14 wins and partly due to his relative inactivity over the years. Santiago stands 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 70-inch reach and has plenty of power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 58.8 per cent. However he’s lost his last two fights.
Before being stopped by Russell, Santiago was shafted when he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Adrien Broner in February, 2021 in a fight which saw him deducted a point for hitting after the bell. His lone draw was a four-round affair with Marco Padilla back in 2008. In fact, he didn’t enter the ring again until 2014 after that fight. Santiago has fought all of his bouts in either Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic other than the last two, which were both in America and both defeats.
His biggest wins have been against Juan Zegarra and he beat veteran DeMarcus Corley via 10-round unanimous decision in 2017 for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation International Super Lightweight Title. He then added the vacant WBA Fedelatin belt by stopping Gustavo Vittori in the ninth round just over a year later. He also beat Ivan Cano by a seventh-round technical decision in between.
The 27-year-old Barrios enters the ring with a mark of 26-2 with 17 Ko’s. He turned pro in 2013 following his amateur career and has 154 rounds of experience under his belt. He won the vacant WBA Title Super Lightweight Crown in September, 2019 when he beat Batyr Akhmedov by unanimous decision after dropping him in the fourth and 12th rounds. He then stopped Ryan Karl in the sixth round his first title defence and lost his belt to Gervonta Davis when he was stopped in the 11th round of a competitive bout in June, 2021. Like Santiago, he’s lost his last two fights.
Barrios also captured the vacant WBA Inter-Continental Welterweight Title in July, 2018 by stopping Jose Roman after eight rounds. He stands 5-feet-10-inches tall with a 71-inch reach which gives him a three-inch height advantage on Santiago as well as an inch edge in reach. Barrios also carries good power in his hands with a current knockout ratio of 60.7 per cent.
Barrios hadn’t really taken on many legitimate top contenders until meeting Davis when he took a step up in class but he handled himself pretty well in that fight. He took a bit of a risk by moving up to welterweight to take on Thurman but did okay in that fight too. Barrios has also beaten the likes of Yardley Cruz, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Richard Zamora and Juan Jose Velasco. He possesses good speed and power and will need to use effective jab to have success against Santiago.
Neither boxer can really afford to lose for the third time in a row, especially Barrios. He has all the advantages here though as he’s bigger and younger, carries more power and has greater experience. Both boxer may have some ring rust to get through however so the fight could get off to a slow start. This fight may be decided on determination and the willingness to throw punches and both guys usually have no problem letting their hands go. Whoever takes the initiative is likely to be successful but I’ll give the edge to Barrios based on his skills and experience.
An interesting fight which Barrios should find a way to win.
Play: Barrios -650 @ BetOnline.ag
Check out my recent boxing betting picks to see my current form.
Jovanie santiago betting • Mario Barrios betting