Hometown fighter Mario Barrios and Cuban heavyweight Lenier Pero picked up stoppage wins on the Vargas vs Foster undercard tonight on Showtime boxing.
Let’s take a look at those wins for Barrios and Pero, with some highlights.
Vargas vs Foster live coverage continues, click here!
Mario Barrios TKO-8 Jovanie Santiago
Someone was gonna snap a two-fight losing streak here, and it was hometown boy Barrios, who pretty well dominated a game but outgunned Santiago en route to an eighth round stoppage.
Barrios (27-2, 18 KO) is now 6-0 in San Antonio, and also picks up his first win as a welterweight, where he seems to intend to stay despite it seeming still like he’d probably be better off at 140, and that there really may be better opportunities there, too.
Barrios just steadily did damage throughout this fight, and Santiago (14-3-1, 10 KO) just couldn’t do anything to really get into this. The Puerto Rican’s corner gave him every opportunity, but after Barrios dropped Santiago on a body shot and kept the pressure up, they instructed the commission to step in and end it.
“The future looks bright for us, and I’m just real excited for the next few years,” said Barrios, who gave some credit to trainer Bob Santos. “I had to get physical. That’s one thing we worked on in the gym. I knew Santiago was coming with it, he took this fight in my backyard, that says a lot about him. He’s a hell of a warrior, I tip my hat to him, but I came in here and took care of business.”
“I feel like I’m up there with the elite, but that’s for me to prove. I’ve never been a talker,” Barrios added.
All action through 3️⃣@Boxer_Barrios and Jovanie Santiago are going at it early in the Alamodome #BarriosSantiago | #VargasFoster pic.twitter.com/gRyh6FLcVz— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) February 12, 2023
On the dot @Boxer_Barrios nails Jovanie Santiago with a vicious right in the 7th #BarriosSantiago | #VargasFoster pic.twitter.com/SmXuAshRp2— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) February 12, 2023
Lenier Pero KO-8 Viktor Faust
Not a shocking outcome, but probably didn’t come the way most would have expected even if they picked Pero in this pick ‘em heavyweight matchup of amateur standouts looking to break through as pros.
Cuba’s Pero (9-0, 6 KO) started the fight OK enough, landing some good counter lefts and doing some decent body work, while Ukraine’s Faust (11-1, 7 KO) was more active, controlled the distance pretty well behind his jab. Faust stayed consistent, and sort of bossed the pace and tenor of the fight for the most part starting in round three especially. Plus, when Pero did land good shots, he didn’t seem to be able to really budge Faust, while Faust’s better shots rocked Pero around a bit, notably at the end of that third round.
Then, in the final minute of round eight, Pero landed a right hook to the body and a left hand upstairs, and Faust just quit fighting, forcing referee Rafael Ramos to step in and stop the fight. He was giving Faust a count, it appeared, but Faust just turned his back so Ramos stopped it. At a guess, it seemed like Pero — who landed good body shots even in rounds he probably lost — likely did the bulk of that damage over the course of the fight and not on that final hook to the ribs that saw Faust stop fighting. It was a weird ending, but how it played out — there was no foul, and then Faust’s reaction — it was the right stoppage.
Also, kind of an interesting fight by the CompuBox numbers. Faust threw 389 punches to Pero’s 183, but Pero out-landed Faust overall, 92 to 82, and landed 66 power punches to 63 from Faust. Also, of Pero’s 92 landed punches, 51 were body shots. That’s really unusual.
For what it’s worth — nothing, officially! — Bad Left Hook had Faust up on scores of 67-66 and 68-65 on our two unofficial scorecards. The real judges had it 67-66 and 68-65 Faust, and 68-65 Pero.
What a shot at the bell!— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) February 12, 2023
Viktor Faust staggers Peró with a nasty counter at the end of the 3rd round
Tune in live to #PeroFaust LIVE on @Showtime#VargasFoster pic.twitter.com/yDkiFdeVwt
WOW!@pero_lenier lands multiple BIG shots en route to an 8th round stoppage over Faust #PeroFaust | #VargasFoster pic.twitter.com/ZDxhEuJQgO— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) February 12, 2023