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Mario Barrios looking to rebound strong in return fight against Jovanie Santiago

Mario Barrios suffered back-to-back losses and is hungry to get back in the win column.

Mario Barrios gets an opportunity to fight in front of his hometown fans in San Antonio, Feb. 11.
Mario Barrios gets an opportunity to fight in front of his hometown fans in San Antonio, Feb. 11.
Jarryd Duarte/Team Barrios

As Mario Barrios prepares to make his way back into the ring this weekend, when he faces Jovanie Santiago on Showtime’s undercard of Rey Vargas vs O’Shaquie Foster, Barrios makes it clear he’s coming to turn things around. Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs) is currently coming off consecutive losses to Gervonta Davis and Keith Thurman, but will look to thrive off some hometown support as he gets to fight in his native San Antonio.

“I’m always excited to give my fans back home an entertaining fight,” Barrios said. “I love where I’m from and I’m always proud to step in the ring representing San Antonio. I’m very thankful for another opportunity to fight in front of the San Antonio fans. It’s going to be an explosive night of boxing and I’m promising an action packed fight.”

And as Barrios looks forward to delivering on the action come fight night, he’s been putting in the work inside the gym to make sure he’s firing on all cylinders.

“I have relocated my training camp to Las Vegas, Nevada, and am back working with Bob Santos,” Barrios said. “It’s been a change of pace, and coming off a bit of a lay-off, after some really big fights, it’s been refreshing resting my mind and body after two hard camps back-to-back. The change is one I think that’s going to elevate my career these next few years, because I’ll be training in the fight capital of the world.

“I think a lot of fighters lose motivation once they have fought on pay-per-view, but being around so many fighters who are in their prime at the Pound4pound boxing gym out here has been pushing me every day. I am thrilled with how the camp has gone, and I think people will see everything I’ve been working on come fight night. I also have my sister Selina working in my corner as well. We started this sport together and I’m thankful to still have her input in the corner. Everything has been great leading up to this fight.”

In this particular outing Barrios will take on Jovanie Santiago (14-2-1, 10 KOs), someone who many thought beat Adrien Broner in their past meeting despite what the official scorecards read. Barrios acknowledges that looking past Santiago has proven to be a problem before, and he won’t be making that mistake here.

“I think he’s a quality fighter. He had a close fight with Adrien Broner that many say he should have won,” Barrios said. “I thought he struggled with Gary Antuanne Russell, but Gary is a great fighter. I personally think Santiago is a guy that if you take him lightly, he can make you look bad. In no way am I intending to disrespect him, but I am going to show why I have been featured on two pay-per-view main events and am a former world champion. This fight is about me ending this lay off and proving that I am at a different level, and a threat in this division. I think you will see a clear separation between us in this bout.”

Should Barrios emerge victorious in this fight Barrios hopes to soon be back in world title contention, particularly with a number of titles appearing to be soon hitting the open market.

“A win puts me in the position I want to be in, which is competing for a world title,” said Barrios. “A lot of titles have become vacant as of late, and I think with a strong showing I could get in the mix with any of the world champions in the division. My goal right now is to become a two-time world champion, and that is what I am set on doing. A win essentially gives me that next step to get close to a title eliminator or the bigger names in the welterweight division. I want to perform in a way that makes my city and my team proud and continues to make the networks want to see me in bigger fights.”

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